The world of cryptocurrencies is now accessible to any type of user and the latest innovations in terms of services and features allow you to work with online trading in an increasingly easy and safe way. An example is given by MetaMask Wallet, a digital wallet external to exchange platforms and online brokers, which allows you to interact with the Ethereum blockchain and store your assets in an extension of your browser. So let’s see how MetaMask Wallet works and how to use it on your devices.
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What is MetaMask
MetaMask Wallet is a browser extension connected to the Ethereum blockchain, which allows you to store and manage your cryptocurrencies in a wallet outside the exchange platform or online broker. It is compatible with several browsers, among which we find Google Chrome, FireFox, Opera, Brave and Vivaldi.
This particular wallet connects dApps with the Ethereum network, allowing even less experienced users to easily use decentralized applications and operate Smart Contracts. Thanks to its functionalities, it allows you to perform any trading operation without launching the Ethereum software: just connect to the internet, open your browser and access the MetaMask extension. MetaMask Wallet was placed on the network in 2016 by ConsenSys, a leading blockchain software development company, based in Brooklyn and founded by Joseph Lubin (already known to be one of the eight co-founders of Ethereum).
How it works
To install MetaMask you need to access the section of your browsers dedicated to the installation of extensions and plug-ins. After searching for the wallet in the search bar, just click on the Install tab to insert it in your browser.
Once the plug-in has been installed on your browser, you have to create a new wallet (or vault), choose a password and save it through security seed (a function that allows you to store your access key in a simple and safe way on your browser): this last one will allow, by activating the synchronization of your account, both to use the extension on any device and to restore MetaMask on another pc, smartphone or tablet in case you lose your access key.
Once the configuration of MetaMask Wallet is finished, the extension is ready to be used. Among the main functionalities of the wallet we find the possibility to receive or send ETH or other ERC20 tokens. As we said, through this plug-in you can connect to any decentralized application connected to the Ethereum network and use it to spend, exchange and bet your tokens (for example, by accessing blockchain-based online games). To buy new tokens, instead, you just need to click on the Buy tab in the wallet interface, select one of the available exchanges (such as Coinbase, PancakeSwap or ShapeShift) and enter the necessary information to complete the transaction (type of token desired and amount to invest).
Which Cryptocurrencies It Supports
Being connected to the Ethereum blockchain, MetaMask Wallet supports a limited number of cryptocurrencies. These include Ethereums (ETH) and any type of ERC20 token.
Features: How to Use dApps
MetaMask Wallet allows its users to access any dApp operating on the Ethereum blockchain without opening the dedicated software. But what are these dApps?
- Compound and other DeFi protocols: these dApps allow you to lend or receive tokens, charging interest on transactions.
- Cryptokitties: playful dApps with animated graphics that allow you to create, buy and sell kittens.
- OpenSea: this is a platform similar to eBay, dedicated to the trade of digital objects related to the world of cryptocurrency.
- Arcades Blockchain: dedicated to online gamers, it allows you to use your tokens to participate in tournaments of supported video games.
- The Digital Art and NFT tokens: this is a very popular dApp among cryptocurrency users; thanks to it you can auction any kind of collectible item.
Is MetaMask Safe?
MetaMask is a cold wallet, meaning it is external to the web. Hot wallets, on the other hand, operate within blockchain software and are generally considered more secure and reliable. Nevertheless, since its launch on the web MetaMask has never suffered any noteworthy thefts or hacker attacks. MetaMask Wallet relies on Backup HD technology for its security protocols and uses a large community of developers to constantly update its code (open source). The biggest risk for a wallet of this type are phishing attacks, i.e. strategies implemented by hackers who aim to steal or copy sensitive information and data (such as nicknames and passwords). The best strategy to prevent these attacks is to avoid clicking on suspicious pop-ups and do not open or respond to emails from unknown addresses.
Price, Costs and Commissions
MetaMask Wallet is a completely free browser extension. You do not need to pay any price to install and use it. A different discussion should be made for the operations that are performed within the Wallet and for the transactions concluded by interacting with the dApps. Here it is possible, depending on the operation carried out, that costs or commissions are required that vary from case to case.
Our Opinions: Advantages and Disadvantages
Those who work in the online trading industry know perfectly well that, before starting to use a service or make an investment, it is good to get informed about the pros and cons of the same. As for MetaMask Wallet, it is possible to highlight both advantages and disadvantages. Among the points in favor of the plug-in we find the open source technology, which shows great support from the community. The user interface is also very intuitive and easy to use and the customer support service is fast and efficient. It also saves disk space (since you don’t need to download a full-featured software to use it) and allows you to create several backup copies of your account.
If you want to consider the downsides of MetaMast Wallet, we can mention the risk of phishing attacks or hacking attempts. Therefore, you have to pay attention to suspicious emails and popups; finally, it is always advisable to keep a small number of tokens in your cold wallet. In conclusion we can say that MetaMask is a very convenient and useful extension for all those who want to operate with online trading quickly and easily. In 2020 MetaMask Wallet Mobile was also released, which allows you to use the plug-in also on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.