MetaMask is a private crypto wallet used for storing and swapping cryptocurrencies and NFTs. It comes in two versions which are browser extension and …
by Andrea Knezovic, February 24, 2023
In this extensive guide, I explain everything you wanted to know about the MetaMask wallet, including how it works, its best features, and how to set it up.
Let’s dive right in!
MetaMask is a virtual crypto wallet used for making transactions, storing as well as managing cryptocurrency and tokens. Moreover, it is an Ethereum wallet. You can use it to gain access to web3 and connect to various blockchain projects like play-to-earn games, apps, as well as for trading fungible and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
For example, you can purchase NFTs in games or spend coins on in-game items, stake tokens, trade tokens on decentralized exchanges (DEXs), explore new crypto apps, etc.
MetaMask keeps your data safe and protects you from hackers and scammers. It’s an open-source software, which means it can be updated and improved by the community.
You can download MetaMask as a browser extension (Chrome, Firefox, Brave, Edge), and as an iOS or Android app.
Because MetaMask wallet is secure, has many features, and is easy to use, it has become the most popular crypto wallet, trusted by millions of users. It allows you to enter the world of decentralized finance (DeFi) and helps you navigate it safely.
It is suitable for both pros and beginners and easy to set up across multiple devices. Furthermore, most NFT marketplaces, blockchain games, and apps support it, which is another reason why it’s so widely used.
MetaMask wallet has many exciting features and using it has many benefits. I’m going to list the most important ones. Furthermore, if there’s a feature you’d like to see in MetaMask, you can request it and it might get added.
With MetaMask, you can easily swap any Ethereum token directly from the browser extension or app. This is one of the top MetaMask features. According to its website, it combines data from various decentralized exchanges to get you “the very best price with the lowest network fees.”
You simply need to click the swap button, choose an amount of any token you own, a token to exchange it with and you’ll get quotes, including a gas fee estimate. If you’re satisfied with the quote, simply click swap and that’s it!
One of the main reasons people set up a crypto wallet is because they want to buy cryptocurrency. MetaMask made this process incredibly simple and suitable for beginners.
Its users can buy various types of coins and tokens on the Ethereum, Polygon, Binance Smart Chain, Avalanche, Fantom, and Celo networks. The supported payment methods for buying cryptocurrency are card payments, mobile payments, and bank transfers.
As you probably know, non-fungible tokens are still all the rage. People who buy NFTs have full ownership of these digital assets ranging from artwork to in-game items and can freely trade them.
NFTs are traded on platforms called NFT marketplaces. In order to buy, sell, or mint NFTs on these marketplaces, you need to have a crypto wallet connected.
This is where the MetaMask wallet comes in. Because it’s so popular, MetaMask is supported by almost all NFT marketplaces, which makes it an obvious choice for trading NFTs.
When you buy an NFT, you can import them into your MetaMask wallet. There’s even an NFT detection feature that, if enabled, allows MetaMask to automatically detect NFTs from OpenSea and display them in your MetaMask wallet.
Blockchain games and metaverses have become increasingly popular during the last few years. Play-to-earn games are particularly popular, as they allow users to earn money while playing.
However, to play blockchain games, make transactions, or receive tokens as a reward, you need a blockchain wallet. MetaMask is a great option for blockchain gaming because it’s a very versatile wallet and most blockchain games are built on the Ethereum blockchain.
Another perk of using MetaMask wallet is that you can access and interact with various dApps, not just games, including decentralized exchanges (DEXs), decentralized finance (DeFi), social dApps, etc.
This is a cool feature that allows you to explore and access all the aforementioned platforms from one place. When you go to the MetaMask browser, there are various categories you can click on – decentralized finance, decentralized exchanges, art, and collectibles, earn crypto, developer tools, social, and markets. You can also search for a specific app by using the search bar.
This browser makes it easy to access web3 and start using various apps.
Another perk of using MetaMask wallet is that you can create multiple accounts within your MetaMask wallet. That’s useful for dedicating different wallets for different types of transactions. It also adds an additional layer of anonymity.
You can download the MetaMask browser extension and application for free. Furthermore, MetaMask doesn’t charge any fees for depositing.
However, there are fees for transactions. When buying, selling, or swapping coins or tokens, MetaMask has a fee ranging from 0.4% to 0.9%. Furthermore, you need to pay Ethereum gas fees on top of that, which tend to run pretty high. However, that’s not something MetaMask or any other wallet has control over.
Yes, MetaMask falls under the category of hot wallets. What that means is that it’s an online wallet, which makes it easy to use and make transactions.
Cold wallets, on the other hand, are offline wallets, usually in the form of hardware. That makes them safer, but not as convenient to use.
You can connect your MetaMask wallet to a cold wallet and thus make it safer.
Yes, MetaMask is one of the safest crypto wallets out there. Even though hot wallets like MetaMask can be vulnerable to online threats, there have not been any major hacking attacks on MetaMask.
Furthermore, according to its website, “MetaMask does not control any of your personal or private data on our servers. Everything is encrypted in your browser and protected via your MetaMask password.”
To keep your MetaMask wallet safe, you should never share your secret recovery phrase and private keys. If you have a large number of tokens in your wallet, MetaMask recommends getting a hardware wallet for extra security.
I’ll explain how to download and set up the MetaMask browser extensions. However, using MetaMask’s app on your smartphone is similar.
Once you’ve installed the browser extension, click on “Create new wallet” and create a password. This is a password for MetaMask, not a recovery password or the private keys for your wallet, but a secondary password.
Once you create that, you will get to the security phrase screen where you’ll get the recovery phrase for your wallet. MetaMask gives you some tips on how to keep it safe. For example, writing it down on a piece of paper and storing it in a safe place, memorizing it, or keeping it on an external encrypted hard drive.
You should never tell anyone what’s your recovery phrase or you risk losing your Ether forever.
When everything is set up, you’ll get access to your dashboard. From there, you can easily receive, buy, send, and swap tokens. Furthermore, you can see your ETH balance, which will be zero since you’ve just created the account, as well as your NFT tokens.
If you go to Settings, you can make certain changes to your account. For example, in the General section, you can choose currency conversion and primary currency (ETH or fiat). Furthermore, you can add contacts to send or receive tokens from friends.
If you want to add currency to it, click “Buy” and choose the Ethereum token you want to purchase.
Next, choose the amount you want to purchase. There are several payment methods you can choose from, including debit or credit card and bank account.
When you select that, you will get a quote with all the fees. If it looks good to you, go ahead and purchase the tokens. However, keep in mind that you technically don’t have to add cryptocurrency to MetaMask in order to interact with certain apps. However, having it allows you to trade crypto, buy NFTs, play blockchain games, use decentralized exchanges, etc.