Our traditional wallets carry fiat money, which is very different from how cryptocurrency wallets work. in the following Metamask review, I tell you what most people don’t know, and that is the fact that crypto wallets store information about cryptocurrencies and not the actual cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrencies only revolve around the Blockchain but never leave. There is no way to withdraw all your coins.
You need a public key and a private key to move your cryptocurrencies around the Blockchain. a public key works similarly to an email address or account number. If someone wants to send you cryptocurrencies, they will send them to your public key. While a private key, on the other hand, is similar to a password which you must key in to be able to access your cryptocurrencies.
Some common types of cryptocurrency wallets include paper wallets, desktop wallets, web wallets, and hardware wallets.
In the following Metamask wallet review, we introduce you to Metamask, explain what it does, how it does it and how to get started.
Metamask is a free browser extension that enables its users to access Ethereum and Erc20 cryptocurrency tokens quickly and in a secure manner. Think of it as a bridge between the normal browser and the Ethereum Blockchain where users can build their decentralized applications (DApps) and cryptocurrencies. The cryptocurrency of Ethereum is called Ether while the other cryptocurrencies built on its Blockchain are called token (ER20 tokens).
Users can download it on the Brace browser, Opera, Firefox, Google and Chrome. They aim at making Ethereum available to as many users as possible. This is one of those sites that does require you to enter personal information. They automatically identify phishing and blocks access to malicious-websites for their users’ protection.
Also, they do not store your private key on the server, instead, it is all kept in your browse hence protection against theft.
Metamask is a well-respected application and its popularity has been growing quickly in the crypto sphere. It allows you to interact with Ethereum based DApps from whatever browser you are most comfortable with.
The key features of this wallet are its ease to set up, protection from malicious websites and quick access from your browser of choice. It stores keys for Ethereum cryptocurrencies only.
Dome with me in the following Metamask review as I dig into other aspects of this exciting wallet.
No fees are charged for using Metamask to store your cryptocurrency. However, you need to pay a Gas fee to send Ethereum or ERC20. Gas is the internal pricing for running a transaction in Ethereum and is required by the Ethereum network to process a transaction.
You may need to pay a higher fee to get your transaction processed depending on how busy the network is. It does seem like Metamask makes money when you buy Ethereum from within the application using the Coinbase or shapeshift integrations.
A few people have complained of their Ether transactions pending for more than 24 hours on Metamask. If that happens, you should cancel the transaction and select a higher gas limit to process your transaction. Alternatively, you can wait till the backlog clears on the Ethereum network.
Majorly, most of the speed issues depend on the Ethereum network’s ability to process transactions. A spike on the network generally corresponds with longer transaction processing periods.
- Private key
- You can view your key in the wallet but you first have to re-enter your password before it showed.
- Seed phrase
- A 12-word phrase used to restore/access Metamask on the devices if necessary. For instance, if you’ve either lost your computer or uninstalled the browser extension, you will require your seed phrase to re-import your Metamask account and access your crypto, do not share this phrase with anyone and store it safely.
- Users use strong passwords for the protection of their accounts
Metamask does not support 2FA or hardware wallet integration as of now, this may be implemented in the future. They are yet to experience a major hack. They use an HD backup setting and have a strong community of coders constantly updating its open-source code.
Metamask is working on patches to prevent phishing, however, each user is responsible for their safety. Be cautious, keep your wallet locked when you’re not using it and only use one tab at a time to make transactions.
Metamask supports only cryptocurrencies and tokens built on the Ethereum Blockchain such as Ethereum and ERC20 tokens. There are over 100 tokens including Vechain, OmiseGo, BAT and so many more.
- Go to anyone of the earlier mentioned browsers
- Go to the Metamask homepage and ensure to add the extension for whatever browser you are using
- A Metamask icon will then appear and to open it you should click on the image of a fox
- Click on create a new vault and ensure that you set a strong password
- Next, you will be given your 12-word seed phrase; record it and keep it safe.
- Click on “I’ve copied it somewhere safe” and Bingo! You now own a Metamask wallet and are free to use it.
Purchasing and sending Ether and ERC20 tokens using Metamask is quite quick and easy. To purchase either Ether or tokens, click on “Buy” and choose either Shapeshift or Coinbase to find your account. Metamask contains a feature that allows you to buy Ethereum from Coinbase or Shapeshift directly within the browser application.
Metamask securely connects to your Coinbase account and lets you process transactions there and then at a higher fee (4% for a $400 transaction). It is best to buy coins directly on Coinbase.
Select “deposit” from your Metamask account and copy your public key. You can use this to send crypto
If you want to send Ethereum from Metamask to another wallet or exchange, you can either use the browser extension or MyEtherWallet (MEW), to do so visit the website https://www.myetherwallet.com/. Then on the “Send Ether and tokens” option select Metamask from the list of options. This method connects your Metamask account with MyEtherWallet (MEW).
Alternatively, to send Ether and ERC20 simply click on send, enter the address where you want to send it and the amount. Then confirm the transaction by clicking accept.
This wallet enables you to explore DApps of Ethereum- Blockchain. Crypto newbies are introduced to the Blockchain through a browser they are familiar with. Sending, buying and receiving cryptocurrencies is not all you can do on Metamask. Here are a few other ways in which you can use your new Metamask wallet.
- MyEtherWallet (MEW) – a DApp used with Metamask.
- CryptoKitties – DApp in which you trade and design cartoon cats. It is quite popular, users make adorable cats and sell them for fat profits.
- Digital art – auctions where users can buy and sell unique collectibles, are held and are becoming quite popular. Artists produce work that can’t be copied thanks to Blockchain technology.
- Blockchain arcades – games use Ether and tokens to use video game tournaments.
This is one of the most widely used Ethereum wallets, it is an online platform but isn’t online-only wallet. Think of it more like a wallet generator where users can create their wallets and access the Ethereum Blockchain. users can also view their cryptocurrencies which are cold storage while Metamask is only used for hot storage. MEW can also be used as a full-node wallet connects directly to the Ethereum Blockchain and stores the whole ledger on your device.
MEW can even be used as access to writing smart contracts whereas Metamask cannot. What impressive is how both wallets can be used together.
Metamask is a crucial part of the Ethereum network. It provides a platform for newbies to take baby steps in the world of Blockchain. It is an excellent partner for MEW, the two work great together avoid storing large sums of money on your Metamask wallet.
Some of its advantages include a code that is open-sourced for reading and modifications by users, (Hierarchical deterministic) HD settings help users to back up their accounts, it also has a built-in coin purchase links directly with 2 exchanges where users can buy cryptocurrencies, their customer support is quite responsive, the site has a simple interface and lastly, its community is large and tight-knit always ready to help.
There are a few demerits involved though, they include a high vulnerability to hacks, and most users lacking confidence in the use of browsers for crypto activities, crypto users value their privacy.
The best way to use Metamask is for the storage of coins you need to enjoy Ethereum DApps. Like a small bag of money, you can carry with you to the funfair or the arcade, enough to have fun but not more than you can stand to lose.
Hopefully, the information in this Metamask wallet review has equipped you enough to get started on Metamask.
Cover photo source: https://www.ledger.com/
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