Most cryptocurrency users only have wallets linked to the exchanges on which they trade. It resembles a typical email/password log which gives people the erroneous notion of how blockchain addresses function.
MetaMask is a non-custodial wallet that can be accessed from your browser or mobile and it provides you with complete control over your assets. It has significant advantages and disadvantages, which we shall discuss below.
In short, MetaMask is a cryptocurrency wallet that allows you to store, transfer and trade ERC-20 tokens.
What distinguishes MetaMask from other wallet applications is its ability to interface with smart contract-based platforms that are live on Ethereum or Layer2s on Ethereum.
For example, if you go to Alchemix and decide to stake your tokens for profit or go to OpenSea to look at new NFTs, you need to link your MetaMask wallet to complete the transactions.
Of course, many alternative wallets function, but MetaMask is the most popular because it is completely open-source.
How to get started using MetaMask?
MetaMask is a popular wallet that allows you to store your ERC-20 Tokens. The extension is free and safe, allowing web apps to read and interact with the Ethereum blockchain. Though it may appear daunting at first, MetaMask is one of the easiest Ethereum wallets to use and can be configured in a matter of minutes.
You’ll either need google chrome or a chromium-based browser like Brave or Firefox to install MetaMask.
Step 1: Install MetaMask
To create a new wallet, you must first install the plugin. Download it from here - https://metamask.io/download.html
Taking Google Chrome as an example, simply search MetaMask Extension on your search engine:
- Install MetaMask by clicking the install button.
- Click the add to chrome button.
- Click the add extension button.
Step 2: Create a Wallet
Open MetaMask by clicking the extension icon in the top right corner of your browser.
- Click try it now to install the most recent version.
- Click the continue button and create a new password.
- Click the create button and click next and agree to the Terms of Service.
- Click make secret words public.
- There will be a seed phrase of 12 words there. It is a piece of critical information that should be stored safely.
- Verify your secret phrase by picking the previously produced phrase in the order it was generated and click confirm.
Your Ethereum account is now ready to send & receive funds.
Step 3: Make a deposit
- Select view account.
- You may now view and share your public address with others. MetaMask provides certain options for purchasing coins, but you may also do it differently; all you need is your wallet address.
The MetaMask extension will always be there on your browser’s extension bar.
- It is a non-custodial wallet that is free to use and also open-source. This means that it has a sizable development community that contributes to its growth.
- The wallet employs hierarchical deterministic settings to let users back up their accounts.
- It has integrated exchanges to make trades simple & easy.
- The wallet offers a simple & minimalistic user interface.
- Over 1 million monthly active users make up a sizable user base.
- Beginners will have little trouble understanding the user interface.
- Single Sign-In option to Ethereum Dapps. No need to create separate login credentials like Web2.
- Integrations of hardware wallets
- Available on mobile devices as well as as a browser extension
- Quick & easy access to your funds on Ethereum.
- As an online wallet, it is more vulnerable to hacking than other types of wallets (physical wallets).
- While MetaMask does not have access to your personal information, the browser you are using does. Most browsers, including Chrome, collect user information, which may jeopardize one’s privacy.
- Trust Wallet
- Coinbase wallet
The future of MetaMask
Metamask is your gateway to the decentralized web, and you must learn how to use it to access dapps.
Since its debut, MetaMask has served as a simple entry point into the budding dapp industry. As additional functionalities are developed, user numbers may increase & improve the onboarding process to Web3.
MetaMask’s first smartphone app, MetaMask Mobile for Android and IOS, was released in September 2020. The smartphone app allows users to register new accounts, log in with their existing Ethereum address, and it offers features similar to the browser-based versions.