Although there are many cryptocurrency wallets in the network, the request of the users remains one: that they be accessible. A requirement that, for many, came to be fulfilled by MetaMask, the Ethereum wallet, with an approach that prioritizes security to interact with any blockchain in a simple way.
But that's not all, this wallet goes further: it is determined to be the one to open the door to Web 3.0. Do you want to know more about MetaMask? We break down all its operation in this article.
What is Metamask?
Metamask is a cryptocurrency wallet for Ethereum that works as a browser extension or plugin. The wallet creates a bridge between decentralized applications (dApp) and web browsers, allowing a direct communication channel to be established.
For us to understand their relevance, dApps rely on blockchain technology such as MetaMask, for example, so that users can interact with each other, without the involvement of any central body.
Metamask was created in 2016 by blockchain software specialist ConsenSys with the intention of allowing users to send and receive cryptocurrencies, manage keys and connect to decentralized applications through a compatible browser such as Chrome, Opera, Brave and Firefox.
Since 2020, it has had its official App for iOS and Android, but it has been impersonated by malicious software that seeks to steal data. For this reason, it has included a section to download the App from its website.
But, in addition to sending and receiving cryptocurrencies, users can spend their funds on games, staking, transacting NFTs, and interact with other networks -besides Ethereum- such as RSK, BNB, Ronin, Polygon, etc. These can be added manually.
Is it a good resource to use in Venezuela?
MetaMask is one of the most used wallets by the Venezuelan crypto community, given its versatility and ease of trading crypto assets without major complexities.
It has worked without problems for years, except for a short fall on its platform in the present 2022, outside of that episode, MetaMask is a wallet with ample ground gained in the country, being possible to pay with it in some businesses.
In Venezuela, its mode of use is usually closely linked to Binance: users buy cryptocurrencies through the P2P market of said exchange and import their operations to MetaMask.
To achieve this, you must complete the following steps from your MetaMask account.
- Enter the “Wallet” option and press “Withdraw cryptocurrencies”.
- The user will need to go to MetaMask and copy their wallet address. You need to make sure you have the Binance Smart Chain network added to your wallet.
- The next step is to go to Binance and fill in the “Withdrawals” box, paste your MetaMask address, choose the cryptocurrency and define the amount to send.
- Once this is done, press "Send" and that's it. The amount will be displayed in seconds or minutes.
- Important: The operations have a commission surcharge that varies according to the cryptocurrency and the amount. Many do not even exceed 1%.
Who can have MetaMask?
Anyone who wants to dive into the cryptocurrency market can have a MetaMask account, even minors.
They just have to go to the website www.metamask.io, download the extension for their browser and click “Create a new wallet”. Below we will show you the whole process in detail.
One plus point is that the person does not need to supply email.
Why use Metamask?
With at least 21 million active people each month, according to data from last year, MetaMask has a range of attributes that make it one of the best wallets on the market. For example:
- Ease: MetaMask does not require a state-of-the-art PC or excessive knowledge of cryptocurrencies. Anyone can operate the software and send or receive their crypto.
- Safety: It has the ability to store private keys locally, which provides greater security to users' crypto assets.
- Speed: Transactions are made very fast, in a matter of seconds.
- Tokens: The user can add the tokens they want manually, they just have to make sure that they are in the corresponding network.
- Integration: It is very well integrated with the cryptocurrency sites Coinbase, MyEherWallet or Shape Shift, among others, with which users can top up funds to their MetaMask.
- Fortress: It has software that blocks cases of phishing (scams) and other attacks that try to steal user funds.
- Privacy: It has a private mode that provides a much higher level of security and confidentiality.
In short, in addition to serving as a practical wallet, MetaMask controls user interactions with decentralized applications and guides them so that each operation is done quickly and safely.
How does MetaMask work?
All this allows the creation of web applications to be done with the Ethereum blockchain, allowing MetaMask to open a unique communication channel between the dApp and the browser.
Although MetaMask works as an extension within a browser, when the user enters the wallet, they are accessing it to a decentralized and secure network. It's like having a house (let's imagine it's Chrome or Firefox, for example), and inside that house having a steel bank vault (MetaMask) where we have our money.
But how to have an account and set it up? They are simple steps that must be followed and that we present below. Please find the interface is in English:
The user must enter their preferred browser, search www.metamask.io and hit the “Download” tab.
Then, the user will have to click on the “Install MetaMask for (the browser chosen by the user)” tab. That is all.
Once installed, the next step will be to give it Get Started and then press “Create Wallet”.
The software will ask you if you want to help improve MetaMask. In general, it is recommended to press the option: “No, Thanks”, but if the user wants to help, he can give him “I agree” and contribute his ideas.
Touch the part of creating the password. It must be at least eight characters. Cryptography experts recommend inserting capital letters, numbers and symbols to make it more complex.
After accepting the terms and conditions, the user must hit “Create” so that MetaMask shows him his 12 seed words that will serve to recover access in case he forgets his password. You will have to write them in the same order, and for this it is recommended to do it in a notebook or piece of paper. In this case, it is not recommended to save them on the phone, mail or cloud, since they are vulnerable.
Once you write it down, MetaMask will ask you to select your 12 words in the same saved order and click “Confirm”.
That is all! By giving "All Done" the user will already be inside MetaMask and ready to use his wallet.
Important: If the user logs out, they can login again by clicking on the MetaMask icon that will be located at the top right of their browser, right next to the URL bar.
How to send and receive cryptocurrencies? Knowing the wallet
Once all the steps have been completed, the user will automatically enter the Ethereum network, where it will show the corresponding balance in the platform's currency, Ether (ETH), as in the image above.
In this MetaMask facade, which corresponds to a session already started, the user will be able to see at the bottom the amount of assets he has and his activity (date of transactions, time, amount and commission).
At the top, specifically in the center, the person will be able to see what their wallet address is and copy it directly. When you want to receive a deposit you must send this address to the person in question.
When sending funds, you must click "Send" and paste the address of the receiving wallet. It should be noted that the amount will be displayed in cryptocurrency and in fiat currency.
By clicking “Next”, MetaMask will ask you later to confirm the commissions to be paid. The wallet will show the user three fee options: Low, Medium and High. The more urgent it is, the more commission it will be.
Once all that is done, the next step is “Confirm”.
On the “Redeem” option, the user has the possibility of exchanging one cryptocurrency for another without the need to use an external Exchange, but charges a commission.
For example, if the person wants to exchange The Sandbox (SAND) token, which belongs to the Ethereum ecosystem, for another currency, they will have to have a balance in ETH to pay commissions.
How to add tokens and other networks?
The great advantage of MetaMask is that, although it is mainly an Ethereum wallet, it allows you to interact with other networks and add them manually. Let's see how to do it.
You have to locate the color icon, in the upper right, and then click "Add Network".
MetaMask will display a window requesting the pertinent information to add the new network. It asks for: Network Name, New URL, String Identifier, Currency Symbol and Block URL.
Just to give an example, let's imagine that the user will add the Binance Smart Chain network. What should you do? The first thing is to open the official Binance page and look for the data of its network, which would be:
- Network Names: Binance Smart Chain
- New URL: https://bsc-dataseed.binance.org/
- String Identifier: 56
- Currency symbol: BNB
- Block Address: https://bscscan.com
You must copy and paste as is and click "Save".
Add token: To add a currency the process is not cumbersome at all. On the main page, the user must go to the bottom and click "Import Token".
MetaMask will open a window asking for the token contract address, symbol and decimals, which the user can find on portals such as CoinMarketCap or Coingecko.
Although you can do it manually, the user can add them automatically from those platforms by clicking on the MetaMask logo that appears. A window will open requesting permission to add the token and, after confirming, it will appear listed in the wallet.
Advantages and disadvantages of MetaMask
Since nothing is perfect, let's see what are the attributes and negative points of MetaMask:
- Allows you to back up your accounts through seeds.
- Enables the use of multiple Ethereum accounts and networks.
- Allows storing several tokens at the same time
- There is no transaction limit
- Its simple interface makes it a popular wallet all over the world
- All MetaMask activity in browsers can be tracked with history.
- Although it was designed to provide security, if the extension is compromised by malicious software or hackers, users' funds are at risk.
- Many consider that the weak point of MetaMask is to depend on external networks.
Where can I access with MetaMask?
The wallet works as an extension to access exchange and blockchain sites and trade cryptocurrencies, such as:
- PancakeSwap: Tokens can be purchased by directly linking the wallet.
- Bit2Me DEX: Decentralized exchange that works securely with MetaMask.
- Veil Market: It is a P2P market of predictions, widely used to know the movement of cryptocurrencies.
- MyEtherWallet: It is a wallet that allows the use of MetaMask, giving it an extra layer of security.
- 0xUniverse and CryptoKitties: They are two games associated with the blockchain network in which you can interact with the wallet.
You already have the necessary information for you to decide whether or not to use MetaMask as your cryptocurrency wallet. In other posts we will show you more options of blockchain technology.