What is MetaMask? 20 Facts
What is MetaMask? 20 Facts
As is discussed over at runrex.com, the number of decentralized applications, also known as dApps, is growing daily, which has incentivized developers to create solutions that allow web applications to communicate easier with blockchains. One example of such a solution is MetaMask, which is an add-on or extension for several web browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. This article, through the following 20 facts, will look to explain what MetaMask is to help you understand it better.
What is MetaMask?
As covered over at guttulus.com, MetaMask is a plugin for browsers that acts as a wallet for Ethereum. The extension can be installed like any other plugin, and it allows users to store Ether or other ERC-20 tokens, giving the user the functionality to transfer tokens to any Ethereum address.
Connecting to dApps on the Ethereum blockchain
Once the plugin is installed, the user can connect to dApps on the Ethereum blockchain as explained over at runrex.com. Once connected, the users can spend coins in games or trade them on decentralized applications. MetaMask also acts as an access point for the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) sector, which means that users can access DeFi apps like PoolTogether and Compound.
Getting started with MetaMask
MetaMask is one of the easier Ethereum wallets and dApp extensions to use, and setting up will only take a few minutes in most cases, and is relatively easy. The following tips will cover how you can get started with MetaMask.
Download a browser then the extension
The first step in acquiring MetaMask is to download a browser like Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Brave that supports the extension according to guttulus.com. Once this is done, the next step is to download the extension itself.
Where can you download the extension?
If you are wondering where you can download the extension, then it is worth noting that the extension can be downloaded at MetaMask’s official website. After downloading the extension, installing and then adding it to the browser you had already downloaded is pretty simple, and is the same as adding any other extension.
As soon as the extension is downloaded, installed, and added as an extension as is outlined in the previous point, then MetaMask should open up a tab welcoming the user to MetaMask and give the user the ability to start the setup process.
The “Get Started” button
On the tab with the “Welcome to MetaMask” message will be a “Get Started” button, which, once pressed, will lead to the user receiving two different alternatives as covered over at runrex.com. The first alternative is to import an existing wallet using a seed phrase. A seed phrase is a group of words that allow a user to access a cryptocurrency wallet. The second alternative is to create a new wallet and seed phrase from scratch.
It is up to you to decide if you want to “Help improve MetaMask”
If you click on either of the alternatives in the previous point, you will be asked to help improve MetaMask. According to guttulus.com, agreeing to help is entirely up to the users themselves, and they are free to deny it if they wish. If you decide to agree to help improve MetaMask, something that is designed to enable MetaMask to enhance and make the extension more user-friendly, the extension will collect data on how the user interacts with the add-on.
If you click on the import option, you will be asked to input your already-existing seed phrase, as well as being required to create a new password. As covered over at runrex.com, the password needs to be at least 8 characters long. After this, you will need to agree to the terms of usage, and then, finally, click on the “import” button to finalize the wallet’s information.
The second option requires you to create a new wallet and to do so, you will only need to create a password, which also needs to be at least 8 characters, and will then receive the seed phrase after. The seed phrase that you will receive will consist of 12 different words, and it is important to write down these words in the exact order that they’re presented. When the seed phrase is confirmed, the setup is finished, and you will receive access to all functionalities of MetaMask.
Keep your seed phrase safe
The seed phrase will be needed to recover the wallet if something happens to your computer, which is why it is a good idea to write down the code somewhere so that it can be accessed when needed. However, you should keep the seed phrase safe as anyone with the combination of words can access the wallet. This is why you should always keep your seed phrase private.
As soon as the setup process is finished, you can access and use all the features that MetaMask offers, and they include:
Assets and activity tabs
The extension has two different tabs, one for assets and one for activity. According to guttulus.com, in the Assets tab, you can see and access your assets, while in the activity tab, you can see the activities and the wallet’s transaction history.
Actions you can perform on MetaMask
In addition to the two different tabs highlighted in the previous point, there are also three buttons that the user can press to perform different actions. They are “Buy”, “Send”, and “Swap”, and are all pretty straightforward as discussed over at runrex.com.
What does clicking the “Buy” button do?
Clicking the buy button will give you two different options: either deposit Ether from another wallet or buy new Ether using your fiat currency. As per the gurus over at guttulus.com. it is important to know that the wallet needs to contain Ether to interact with dApps.
What does clicking the “Send” button do?
Clicking the send button will allow you to send currency to another wallet. All you need is the recipient’s address and sufficient funds that you would like to send. You will also receive the option to send at a slow, average, or fast rate, and depending on the requested speed of the transaction, the fee will change. Therefore, while the fast rate might be the best option if you are in a rush, you will have to pay a little more for this benefit.
What does clicking the “Swap” button do?
Finally, there is the swap button which allows you to swap one token for another. What this means is that you can be able to swap ETH for LINK or UNI for example, which is a pretty useful feature, and one that may come in handy for certain transactions.
MetaMask and dApps
As covered over at runrex.com, one of the great things about MetaMask is that it allows you to connect your wallet to different dApps. To interact with smart contracts or dApps, you will need to connect your MetaMask wallet to the applications, which can usually be done through a “Connect Wallet” button at the dApp’s website. Furthermore, connecting your wallet to a dApp only gives the application the ability to see your address, which means that they can’t access your funds directly without your permission. Therefore, if an action on the application requires funds, a pop-up window will appear asking you to confirm the transaction from the MetaMask account.
MetaMask pros and cons
Some of the pros for using MetaMask include:
Widely used – It is a popular plugin or extension to your browsers, and this popularity means that there are a lot of dApps that have support for MetaMask. According to guttulus.com, this means that only one plugin is needed for several different websites, making it even easier to use.
User-friendly – Rather than managing difficult private keys, users simply need to remember their 12-word seed phrase to access their funds and make transactions.
Integrated – Given that it is a widely used and popular extension, there are many applications compatible with MetaMask, not only making it easy to use dApps, but also making it easy to send tokens to and from the account.
The cons, as discussed over at runrex.com, include:
Third-party – One of the biggest drawbacks with MetaMask is that there is a third-party holding the private keys within the user’s browser, which is less safe than a hard drive or a physical paper wallet. However, this is the price to pay for the convenience that the extensions bring to the user in terms of accessibility.
Nodes – The system also relies on external nodes, which can lead to unfortunate drawbacks like downtime, which means that MetaMask can stop working.
The extension keeps on developing, and only last yet, MetaMask launched an Android and iPhone application providing users with even more flexibility. The application has the same essential functions as the extension in the web browser such as a key vault, token wallet, and login so that the user can access dApps like Compound directly from their phones.
MetaMask and NFTs
One of the reasons why MetaMask is popular as a wallet is because, to participate in any NFT marketplace such as OpenSea, you will need a wallet like MetaMask. Given MetaMask’s convenience and ease-of-use, it is the go-to wallet for those looking to buy and sell NFTs on NFT marketplaces.