What is Metamask wallet | How to Create a wallet and Use

What is Metamask wallet | How to Create a wallet and Use

Metamask is a cryptocurrency wallet which can be used on the Chrome, Firefox and Brave browsers. It's also a browser extension. This means that it works like a bridge between normal browsers and the Ethereum blockchain. The Ethereum blockchain is a network where users can build their own apps (which are called dApps) and cryptocurrencies. Ethereum also allows its users to write transaction guidelines called smart contracts. MetaMask can be used to store keys for Ethereum cryptocurrencies only. In this post, we'll learn What is Metamask wallet | How to Create a wallet and Use

## 1. What is MetaMask?

Metamask is a cryptocurrency wallet which can be used on the Chrome, Firefox and Brave browsers. It's also a browser extension. This means that it works like a bridge between normal browsers and the  Ethereum blockchain.

The Ethereum blockchain is a network where users can build their own apps (which are called dApps) and cryptocurrencies. Ethereum also allows its users to write transaction guidelines called  smart contracts_._ MetaMask can be used to store keys for Ethereum cryptocurrencies only.

A complete guide to building Ethereum DApps with MetaMask | by Annie Azaña  | Crowdbotics | Medium

The cryptocurrency of Ethereum is called Ether. Other cryptocurrencies built on the Ethereum blockchain are called tokens. Most of the tokens built on the Ethereum blockchain are called ERC-20 tokens because they follow the rules that Ethereum developers have set out for creating new cryptocurrencies.

So,  the MetaMask wallet can be used for storing keys for Ether and ERCi20 tokens on three different web browsers. It also allows users to browse the Ethereum blockchain from a standard browser. What other features does it have? And are they any good? To find out, we’ll continue with the MetaMask wallet review, and first focus on the good stuff.

MetaMask: The Good Stuff

So - the good stuff. Here are some of the key benefits often mentioned in user MetaMask wallet reviews:

  • Open-source: This means that all the MetaMask code is online and free and available to access. You can build your own version at home! I’m kidding, don’t do that. I mean, you _could, _but don’t. Open-source software can be reviewed and updated by the community, meaning that it can be continuously improved.
  • HD settings: Hierarchical deterministic settings _help users back up their accounts. They do this by giving the user a list of words called _seed phrases. Seed phrases can be used to reset lost account information.
  • Built-in coin purchasing: MetaMask links directly with two exchanges where users can buy cryptocurrency. Users can select  Coinbase to purchase Ether and  ShapeShift to buy Ether or ERC-20 tokens.
  • Customer support: MetaMask wants to get as many people involved with the Ethereum network as it can. It has a video introduction on  its homepage and a detailed support page.
  • Simple interface: Once it’s set up, MetaMask is very simple to use - this is a sentiment echoed by other user MetaMask wallet reviews, too. All of its features are laid out clearly so sending and receiving currency is easy, even for beginners!
  • Local key storage: Some wallet providers store keys on their own servers. This is common on exchanges that provide wallets, like  Coinbase. MetaMask keys are stored on the user’s own browser, not on any remote servers. This gives the user more control over their public and private keys.
  • Community: MetaMask is an important part of the Ethereum community. It’s got  more than a million active users and has  almost 70.000 followers on Twitter.

That’s a lot of good stuff! How about the bad stuff?

MetaMask: The Bad Stuff

Not everything is perfect with the tool in question, though, and it would be an incomprehensive  MetaMask wallet review if we didn't mention some of its most-notable shortcomings.

  • Browser access: MetaMask doesn’t have access to any of your information, but the browser it’s installed on will. Your browser won’t have access to your private codes, but it may collect information about when and how you use the app. Mozilla and Google aren’t very popular in the crypto community. Many crypto users will feel uncomfortable allowing these companies to collect information about them. This may stop some potential users from trying the MetaMask wallet.
  • Online: Online wallets have advantages and disadvantages. One of the main disadvantages is security. Any information that’s stored online is more at risk from hackers than information that’s stored offline. MetaMask doesn’t provide enough security by itself. Remember, always use more than one kind of wallet.

Now you know a little bit about what user are talking about in their MetaMask wallet reviews. How does it compare to other Ethereum wallets, though? Let’s check out  MetaMask vs  MyEtherWallet.

MetaMask VS MyEtherWallet

MyEtherWallet is one of the most widely used Ethereum wallets. It’s an online platform, but isn’t an online-only wallet. Think of MyEtherWallet more as a wallet generator. It’s a platform where users can create their own wallets and get access to the Ethereum blockchain. Users can view their cryptocurrencies which are held within any Ethereum private key using MEW.

MetaMask wallet review: MyEtherWallet.

The wallet's users create to give them complete control of their keys. They can be used as hot or cold storage. MetaMask can only be used for hot storage. MyEtherWallet can also be used as a full node wallet. This means that it’s connected directly to the Ethereum blockchain and stores the whole ledger on your device.

MetaMask communicates with the Ethereum ledger through a system called Infura. This means that it trusts other computers to keep it up to date with the Ethereum network. Full node systems are generally preferred to systems that involve trusting middlemen like Infura.

MetaMask wallet review: MetaMask.

MyEtherWallet can even be used access to write smart contracts, whereas MetaMask cannot. So, is MyEtherWallet better than Metamask? In some ways, it is, however, both platforms are flexible enough to be used together. When combined, the two systems offer an impressive wallet package.

So, don’t think of it as MetaMask VS MyEtherWallet, as they’re on the same team!

Now, let’s get back to the actual MetaMask wallet review. Next, I want to talk about the MetaMask wallet safety.

MetaMask Security 

There’s one very important question you should ask yourself when you’re deciding whether or not to download the wallet after reading this MetaMask review: is MetaMask safe?

MetaMask hasn’t suffered any major hacks. It uses HD backup settings and has a strong community of developers updating its open-source code. However, the wallet is online, so it’s more at risk than hardware wallets and other forms of cold storage.

The most common risk facing the MetaMask wallet are phishing attacks_. _A phishing attack is a scam hackers use to steal personal information like usernames and passwords.

A phishing attack on a MetaMask wallet would work something like this:

Gene is working on his laptop with several tabs open in his browser. He unlocks his MetaMask wallet to make a transaction. An attacker uses the open tabs to see that Gene is using MetaMask.

The attacker sends Gene a pop-up message saying that his transaction has failed. This happens sometimes, so Gene isn’t worried. He enters his password to remake the transaction. The attacker now has access to Gene’s wallet.

This kind of attack is quite common with online wallets. MetaMask is working on patches for this kind of problem, but users are responsible for their own safety, so take care! When using MetaMask, only use one tab at a time to make transactions, and keep the wallet locked when you’re not using it.

So, is MetaMask safe? The answer here is a nervous yes. Online wallets are only as secure as their users. So, if you’re illegally streaming episodes of Game of Thrones with an open MetaMask wallet and your Ether disappears, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Now that we’ve had a serious chat about browser safety, let’s get to the more-fun parts of this MetaMask wallet review - namely, how to set up MetaMask, and how to use MetaMask.

What advantages does MetaMask have?

  • Popular - it is commonly used so users only need one plugin to access a wide range of Dapps.
  • Simple - Instead of managing private keys, users just need to remember a list of words and transactions are signed on their behalf.
  • Saves space - Users don’t have to download the Ethereum blockchain as it sends requests to nodes outside of the user’s computer.
  • Integrated - Dapps are designed to work with it, so it becomes much easier to send Ether in and out.

What disadvantages does it have?

  • Third-party - MetaMask holds private keys within the user’s browser. This is less safe than a hardware or paper wallet. It is a reasonable compromise for the ease-of-use.
  • External nodes - Instead of being a full node, it relies on external nodes which sometimes have downtime that can cause MetaMask to stop working.

2. How to get started using MetaMask

You will have to first buy one of the major cryptocurrencies, usually either Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Tether (USDT), Binance (BNB)...

We will use Binance Exchange here as it is one of the largest crypto exchanges that accept fiat deposits.

Once you finished the KYC process. You will be asked to add a payment method. Here you can either choose to provide a credit/debit card or use a bank transfer, and buy one of the major cryptocurrencies, usually either Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Tether (USDT), Binance (BNB)...

SIGN UP ON BINANCE

Step by Step Guide : What is Binance | How to Create an account on Binance (Updated 2021)

Next step

Though it might seem complicated from the outset, MetaMask is one of the simpler Ethereum wallets and dapp browsers to use, and can be set up in a couple of minutes in most cases.

To use MetaMask, you will need either Chrome, a Chromium-based browser such as  Brave, or Firefox.

First, you’ll need to download and install the official Metamask extension/addon for your browser; either the  Google Chrome extension or the  Firefox addon depending on your browser. For our guide, we’ll be using the Firefox version, but the steps are nearly identical for other browsers too.

Chrome

  1. Visit  https://metamask.io/
  2. Click “Get Chrome Extension”. You will be directed to Chrome Web Store.
  3. Click “Add to Chrome”
  4. On the pop up, click “Add extension”

After adding MetaMask extension, you’ll return to your browser page. MetaMask will appear on your browser. You may click on it to open MetaMask.

FireFox

  1. Visit  https://metamask.io/
  2. Click “Get FireFox Extension”. You will be directed to FireFox Add-Ons.
  3. Click “Add to FireFox”
  4. On the pop up, click “Add”

After adding MetaMask extension, you’ll return to your browser page. MetaMask will appear on your browser. You may click on it to open MetaMask.

Opera

  1. Visit https://metamask.io/
  2. Click “Get Opera Extension”. You will be directed to Opera Add-ons .
  3. Click “Add to Opera”

After adding MetaMask extension, you’ll return to your browser page. MetaMask will appear on your browser. You may click on it to open MetaMask.

Brave

  1. Visit  https://metamask.io/
  2. Click “Get Brave Browser”. You will be directed to Brave website.
  3. Click “Download”. MetaMask is built in the browser.

Once installed, you should see the below splash screen. Click the ‘Get Started’ button to begin creating your Ethereum wallet using MetaMask.

The MetaMask splash screen

On the next step, click the ‘Create a Wallet’ button.

MetaMask set-up screen

You’ll then be asked if you want to help improve MetaMask. Click ‘No Thanks’ if this doesn’t interest you, otherwise click ‘I agree’.

"Help us improve MetaMask" screen

Pick a password on the next step. This needs to be at least 8 characters long. We recommend using a completely unique password that hasn’t been used anywhere else, and contains a mixture of upper and lower case letters, symbols, and numbers.

MetaMask password screen

Read and accept the Terms of Use, and click ‘Create’ once your password has been set.

MetaMask will then present you with your 12-word backup phrase. You’ll need to write this down in the same order displayed on your screen. This will be needed to recover your wallet should you ever lose access to your computer, and should be kept stored somewhere safe. Anybody who has access to your 12-word back phrase will be able to recover your funds, so keep it private.

Click ‘Next’ once you’ve written this down.

MetaMask backup phrase screen

Confirm your backup phrase on the next screen by entering the words in the same order saved previously. Click ‘Confirm’ once done.

MetaMask "confirm backup phrase" screen

You have now almost completed the MetaMask setup process. Just click ‘All Done’ on the final page, and you will be automatically logged in to MetaMask. If you ever get logged out, you’ll be able to log back in again by clicking the icon added to your web browser (usually found next to the URL bar).

How to backup and restore your wallet using the seed phrase?

Suppose you change browser or computer and want to connect your wallet again, here’s how to do it. First, you have to find your seed phrase, which you should have stored, to begin with.

  • Click on the account icon.
  • Click Settings.
  • Find Reveal Seed Words and click it.
  • Enter your password.

Now save the Secret Seed Phrase somewhere, preferably not digitally. The backup is done now all you have to do is to learn the restoring process.

  • Open Metamask and click Import using the account seed phrase.
  • Enter your Seed Phrase.
  • Create a new strong password.
  • Click Restore.

And that’s it now you have successfully restored your account by following these easy steps. I can say that you are fully prepared now to take on the crypto world as far as your wallet management is concerned.

3. How to Use Metamask

Now you can add funds to your wallet. Click on your wallet address (1) to copy it, then send ETH to that address from an exchange. In this example, we will use Binance Exchange

Binance is a popular cryptocurrency exchange which was started in China but then moved their headquarters to the crypto-friendly Island of Malta in the EU. Binance is popular for its crypto to crypto exchange services. Binance exploded onto the scene in the mania of 2017 and has since gone on to become the top crypto exchange in the world.

Once you finished the KYC process. You will be asked to add a payment method. Here you can either choose to provide a credit/debit card or use a bank transfer, and buy one of the major cryptocurrencies, usually either Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Tether (USDT), Binance (BNB)

SIGN UP ON BINANCE

Step by Step Guide : What is Binance | How to Create an account on Binance (Updated 2021)

Next step - Transfer your ETH to Metamask

Or, if you have not yet purchased ETH, click on “Buy” to buy funds from Metamask’s built-in exchange.

You will see your balance in the lower portion of the wallet (3) once your funds have been deposited. ETH will show up by default. If custom ERC-20 tokens do not show up, click “Add Token” to add those tokens to the list.

It may take several minutes for your ETH to arrive, depending on the amount of traffic that Ethereum is experiencing.

Send Cryptocurrency

Once you own cryptocurrency, you can send your funds to other users, merchants, or your own additional ETH wallets. To do so, click on the “Send” button in Metamask’s main panel. Enter the amount of ETH you want to send and the amount of transaction fees you want to pay.

Then, click “Next”.

A higher fee will help your transaction get confirmed faster. Metamask automatically sets a fee by default. However, sites like  EthGasStation can help you find an ideal fee manually.

Click “Next” (3) to finalize the details of your transaction. Then, click “Confirm.” Once again, it may take some time for your transaction to be confirmed.

You can check the status of your transaction in Metamask’s “Activity” panel.

What Can You Do With Metamask?

Now that you know the basics of Metamask, you can use all of Ethereum’s features, including:

  • Sending and receiving transactions between standard Ethereum addresses, such as those owned by individuals and merchants.
  • Paying for transactions in DApps such as games, gambling apps, DeFi apps, and decentralized exchanges.
  • Storing ETH and  custom tokens (i.e., ERC-20 tokens).
  • Storing collectibles and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
  • Connecting to  Ledger and Trezor hardware wallets.

🔺DISCLAIMER: Trading Cryptocurrency is VERY risky. Make sure that you understand these risks if you are a beginner. The Information in the post is my OPINION and not financial advice. You are responsible for what you do with your funds

Learn about Cryptocurrency in this article ☞ What You Should Know Before Investing in Cryptocurrency - For Beginner

Read more:

☞ What is Binance | How to Create an account on Binance (Updated 2021) ☞ What is Trust Wallet | How to Create a wallet and Use ☞ What is Pancakeswap | Beginner's Guide on How to Use Pancakeswap ☞ What is Uniswap | Beginner's Guide on How to Use Uniswap

Closing

Metamask is your bridge to the decentralized web and it’s important you understand how to get prepared for it carefully. Hopefully, this article has helped some of you find the answers they needed and if you have a question about the process don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Thank you!

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