Metamask: How to Use the Popular ETH Wallet

Metamask: How to Use the Popular ETH Wallet

Metamask is one of the most popular Ethereum wallets, used by over a million cryptocurrency users. Unlike many wallets, Metamask allows you to directly interact with the blockchain Ethereum and even run a dapper yourself.

In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about Metamask, including how to get started as a user.

What is Metamask?

Metamask is a wallet that is built into your web browser and works directly with the main Ethereum network, along with the various Ethereum test networks in operation. Why is it important? Well, when you use a web browser, you are interacting with one of the many centralized web servers around the globe.

Each time you access a website, the website information you want to view is retrieved from the server and delivered to your browser.

If you are familiar with the blockchain, you will know that it works on a decentralized infrastructure. A network of nodes (nodes) maintains the blockchain, keeping records of all cryptocurrency transactions that took place between users. In the case of Ethereum, the nodes also maintain smart contract transactions.

Metamask serves as a kind of bridge between the centralized web and the decentralized Ethereum blockchain.

It doesn't require you to run a full node to interact with Ethereum, but Metamask connects to an Ethereum node called Infura, allowing you to run smart contracts via proxy.

In short, you can use Metamask to directly interact with all types of Ethereum dApps, right from your browser. You can trade assets on uniswap, take a loan guaranteed in Dai stablecoins or invest Tokens em Yearn Vaults.

How does Metamask work?

Metamask is available as a browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, Brave or Edge. You can access any of them from the home page Metamask.

After downloading the extension, you will go to a page where you can configure your wallet. If you are not automatically redirected, look for Download in the corner of the browser window. Click on “Download”.

Metamask is one of the most popular Ethereum wallets, used by over a million cryptocurrency users. Unlike many wallets, Metamask allows you to directly interact with the Ethereum blockchain and even run a dApp yourself.

 

Assuming you don't already have a wallet, click on “Create Wallet”.

Metamask: How to Use the Popular ETH Wallet

You can choose whether or not to submit your data as developer feedback.

 

Metamask: How to Use the Popular ETH Wallet

Set up a password. Be sure to follow strong password rules, such as using a mix of alphanumeric characters and symbols. When finished, click “Create”.

Metamask: How to Use the Popular ETH Wallet

You will then be asked to confirm your passphrase. This is the essential information you need to backup your funds and recover them in case you forget your password.

Metamask will give you twelve words, which you'll need to write down and keep somewhere safe. Never store them unencrypted on your computer or phone as they can be easily stolen.

Metamask: How to Use the Popular ETH Wallet

After writing your seed phrase, you can confirm it and then you will see this message.

Metamask: How to Use the Popular ETH Wallet

That's it! You are ready to start using Metamask. Until you deposit your tokens, your balance will show as zero.

You can deposit ETH or other Ethereum-based tokens from another wallet. Metamask also allows you to buy ETH using a debit card through the Wyre service.

If you want to use your new Metamask wallet to interact with dApps, go to the dApp homepage. Once there, you will usually see a button saying “Connect Wallet,” where you will be asked to connect by typing your Metamask password into your browser.

You can also interact with the various Ethereum testnets like the Ropsten testnet by getting some funds from a faucet.

Be aware that testnet funds are not real Ether, just “play” money that you can use to test dApps in test mode.

What Are the Advantages of Using Metamask?

Metamask has several advantages over other wallets.

Low Entry Barriers

Firstly, it is easy to use with few barriers to entry, even for beginners. The interface is intuitive and clean. It integrates with popular browsers that most people have already installed on their computers.

As private keys are stored in your browser, which means they are accessible, and you are not dependent on a third-party provider's servers to keep your funds safe.

Security

Users have complete custody of their funds as Metamask gives users its seed phrase to act as a backup.

Open Source and Easy to Access

Metamask was developed with funding from ConsenSys and has a highly active open source user and developer community.

Therefore, you can be sure that it will remain well maintained. It also has a detailed FAQ and support page in case users encounter any issues.

The built-in purchase feature makes it easy to add funds to your wallet, even if you are new to cryptocurrency.

Cons of Metamask

Compatibility

There are just a few downsides to using Metamask. If you want a wallet that contain Bitcoin and other non-Ethereum assets, you will need a wallet different as it only supports ETH and assets issued on the Ethereum blockchain.

Privacy Concerns

For more privacy-centric users, the fact that the wallet is built into their browser can be an issue as web browsers tend to collect information about their users.

This is particularly true for Google (Chrome) and Mozilla (Firefox), although Metamask also works with Brave, which is known for being a privacy-focused browser.

Rest assured, your browser operator cannot access your private keys, but they may collect data about your Metamask usage and interactions with dApp sites.

It's a Hot Wallet

Finally, be aware that Metamask is a wallet "hot” or online, making it more vulnerable to attack than offline cold storage wallets. For this reason, it makes no sense to trust him as the only wallet to store all your holdings in cryptocurrencies.

It makes more sense to use it for smaller amounts or just move funds into it when you want to interact with dApps.

None of these cons should be a deterrent to using Metamask, which is an ideal wallet for when you want to participate in Ethereum's bustling dApp ecosystem.

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