MetaMask is the Gateway to Blockchain Applications: Meet The Defiant Primer
This Defiant guide is designed to help you navigate and use MetaMask, a crypto wallet and gateway to blockchain applications.
MetaMask allows you to store cryptocurrencies and interact with decentralized applications or DApps. Currently, Metamask has over 21 users. If you want to transfer Ethereum to your friend, you will need to set up a node and use your private key to sign and approve the transaction. This contains an amount of coding and at times, hard to do if you have no coding knowledge. MetaMask, similar to any crypto wallet, gives you the ability to do this with the click of a button.
What is MetaMask?
MetaMask is a software crypto wallet that comes in the form of a browser extension. It also has a mobile application. The browser extension is available for:
No matter what type of device you are using, this mobile app is available for both IOS and Android devices.
MetaMask performs two main functions:
First, it stores your private key and allows you to store your crypto. A very common misunderstanding is that many newbies think that cryptocurrencies are stored in MetaMask or any other crypto wallet. This is an error; a crypto wallet like MetaMask only stores your public key and private key, then uses your private key to sign and approve transactions.
Think of the public key as your bank account number or PayPal email address. The private key is similar to your debit card PIN or PayPal account password. If someone knows your private key, they can access or spend all your money.
Also remember that the term “store cryptography” means storing the public key and the private key. When you create a new wallet with MetaMask, it creates a public key and a private key for users which is then stored locally on your computer. These are never sent to online servers and when the user wishes to complete a transaction, such as sending Ethereum to a friend, MetaMask uses the user’s private key to issue a signature to approve the transaction. transaction. This means that the user’s private key never leaves their computer.
MetaMask supports Ethereum and any other token developed on the Ethereum blockchain (ERC20 tokens), such as Tether, USDC, DAI, and the Uniswap token. It is also possible to add specific tokens or Blockchains, even if they are not officially supported or immediately compatible.
Second use of MetaMask
The second function of MetaMask is to interact with many decentralized applications. You can do this easily by clicking a button. You can interact with token swap apps like Uniswap and PancakeSwap, play Blockchain-based games like Gods Unchained or Decentraland, or buy an NFT from many supported NFT marketplaces like Opensea and Rarible.
All this is possible without requiring a complex procedure. You will only need a simple wallet login. Additionally, you will be able to buy Ethereum and other tokens directly from the extension. This redirects you to their partner feed and MetaMask charges a fee on each token you have purchased.
You can also trade tokens on MetaMask. For example, you might want to trade Ethereum for MANA. MetaMask automatically searches for available exchanges and tries to offer you the best prices. As of this writing in March 2022, it charges fees ranging from 0.3% to 0.87% at this point, which is one of the ways MetaMask makes money.
These fees may seem quite low, but since they add up with many users using MetaMask every day, they bring in a considerable amount of money. You will find it interesting to know that over $200 million was generated in revenue in 2021.
History of MetaMask
MetaMask was founded by a ConsenSys developer named Aaron Davis in 2016. ConsenSys is an American Blockchain technology company which is currently based in Switzerland and builds infrastructure for Ethereum tokens.
Prior to 2019, MetaMask was only available as a desktop browser extension for Google Chrome and Firefox browsers. MetaMask was popular among cryptocurrency users, but it also lacked an official app for several years. This has caused numerous examples of malware impersonating MetaMask which has become an issue for Google in regulating its Chrome Web Store and Google Play platforms. For example, when Google Play unintentionally removed MetaMask’s official beta app before reversing the decision a week later on January 1, 2020.
What to do if MetaMask has stopped working in your country
In 2019, MetaMask began releasing mobile app versions for closed beta testing, following the official public release for iOS and Android in September 2020.
In October 2020, MetaMask Swaps, an integrated DEX aggregation service, was added to the desktop extension. The product was available in March 2021 on mobile devices.
Is MetaMask safe to use?
Although the application is safe to use, to answer this question with more details, you will have to take into account two conditions explained below:
The app’s code is public for anyone to examine and it has been audited by a security auditing company called “Least Authority”. The company said it found no security vulnerabilities and the code was of high quality. But it is always possible that someone has access to your money, this can happen under certain conditions:
First, if you downloaded a fake version of MetaMask that looks like the original. This fake version is developed by hackers and once you deposit money you lose it forever. In order to prevent this from happening, it is recommended to download MetaMask from the official website: www.MetaMask.io
Second, if someone hacks or accesses your computer through a virus, this opens the door to access stored MetaMask files. To avoid this, you should always ensure that you are using a secure computer when using MetaMask.
Here we have explained the features of MetaMask:
MetaMask’s most obvious feature is its ease of use. It facilitates interaction with decentralized applications. It also lets you create multiple wallets. When you create a new wallet, it generates a new public key and a new private key that you can easily switch between.
Another feature of MetaMask is that you can connect it to other Blockchains, not just Ethereum; you can connect MetaMask to Binance (BSC), Avax, Polygon, and Fantom smart chain. It will also chainlist you when you manually enter networks through MetaMask. We will have a full guideline on how to connect MetaMask to other blockchains.
MetaMask allows you to store the NFTs you buy from the markets once you are logged in to the wallet and can buy an NFT. It will automatically appear under the Collectibles tab in MetaMask.
Finally, MetaMask is compatible with hardware wallets such as Ledger, Nano or Trezor. You just need to click “connect hardware wallet” and connect your hardware wallet to unlock the device, then you can spend the money in the wallet like any other MetaMask wallet. This is useful when interacting with apps that support MetaMask, but do not support Trezor or Ledger wallet.
Advantages of MetaMask
- It’s free and easy to use
- It’s certain
- MetaMask is compatible with many decentralized applications allowing you to buy and trade tokens directly.
Disadvantages of Metamask
There aren’t many to count except that MetaMask doesn’t support certain cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or XRP. Also, like any other software wallet, it is not as secure as hardware wallets like Ledger or Trezor. It is generally recommended to keep only small amounts in software wallets!
So we’ve covered what MetaMask is, whether or not it’s a safe wallet to use, and its pros and cons, yourself. Being one of the most popular Ethereum wallets, it’s definitely worth learning more about the platform, even if you don’t plan on using it personally.
And finally, I really encourage you to go and try it yourself, it costs nothing and will take you a minute. But overall you will learn and feel it through your own experience and without fear!
Arya Gobadi is a contributing writer to The Defiant.
Disclaimer: These are the opinions of the author and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.