Ethereum is one of the most influential blockchain platforms in the market, asserting its dominance in the crypto market by hosting hundreds of thousands of different cryptocurrency tokens. So it is essential to pick the right Ethereum-based wallet and there are so many options to pick from. All wallets fall into two main categories: hardware wallets and software wallets. Hardware wallets are physical devices that directly connect to your computer and store your digital belongings. Software wallets are basically computer programs that act as the key that gives access to your coins and tokens. MetaMask is a browser-based software wallet that not only has a mobile application for iOS and Android but also has the option of being added to internet browsers such as Chrome and Firefox. MetaMask is exclusively specialized in storing Ethereum tokens, e.g. the ETH and the ERC-20 tokens.
Ethereum also provides its users with access to NFTs, decentralized finance (DeFi), decentralized applications (DAAPs), and Web3 services. So for an Ethereum-oriented wallet to be known as the go-to wallet for anyone who has their eyes on the Ethereum blockchain, it must offer a gateway to those services provided by the network and MetaMask does exactly that and beyond.
How to set it up?
Then, either import your existing wallet by clicking the “Import Wallet” button or create a new one by clicking on “Create a wallet”.
Then make the choice of whether share your usage data with MetaMask or don’t, which will not ruin your experience using the wallet if you pick “No thanks”.
Next, watch the video created by the MetaMask team to learn about the secret recovery phrase, and then click Next.
Now you must save the secret recovery phrase. There’s the option of downloading the phrase as a text file. Then click on the “Next” button.
Now you see a word puzzle where you need to reconstruct the phrase word by word. Otherwise, the “Confirm” button stays off. If you can’t remember the phrase then click on the “back” button and do the process again.
After correct completion, the “Confirm” button turns on and you are congratulated after clicking on it.
Finally, click the “All done” button and enter your wallet dashboard.
Now you can start trading. MetaMask also has the option of playing around with testnets that are mirror copies of The Ethereum network but the tokens are not real. You can have a hands-on experience with the market and learn the game without losing any money.
Some advantages of using MetaMask
Security and Compatibility: MetaMask allows you to store your private keys on your PC and export them anytime you like. This makes MetaMask one of the most secure software wallets, since many other options store your keys in their own servers, making users’ private keys susceptible to security breaches such as hacking attacks. With MetaMask you should not fear such threats but your PC can become a potential target for hackers. However, MetaMask can be integrated with many hardware wallets such as Ledger, Lattice, and Trezor and put your mind at ease once and for all.
Ease of use: MetaMask is one of the most user-friendly wallets available. The set-up process takes no more than a few minutes and the wallet is very easy to navigate and comprehend.
Anonymity: You don’t need to provide any personal information to the wallet and your identity remains %100 anonymous which adds to the security of the wallet.
Multiple wallets: You can create multiple wallet addresses within the wallet and dedicate each one to different types of transactions.
An SPV wallet: MetaMask is an SPV wallet – short for Simplified Payment Verification – which means that the wallet allows the verification of a specific transaction within the blockchain without having to download the entire blockchain node. This saves a whole lot of time and space for users of MetaMask.
Some disadvantages of using MetaMask
Only Ethereum tokens: For an Ethereum-oriented wallet to only support the Ethereum tokens might not seem very bizarre at the first glance but there are hundreds of thousands of coins and tokens that MetaMask does not support – including Bitcoin – which limits the wallet’s target audience.
Browser access: MetaMask does not have access to and will not collect any of your information. But the browser on which the wallet is hosted doesn’t make the same promise and will probably collect information about how you conduct your business. To be bothered by this fact is up to you, and many cryptocurrency investors are not huge fans of such nosy browsers, e.g. Chrome and Firefox.
How to recover your MetaMask wallet?
If you don’t know your initial 12-word seed phrase then you can kiss goodbye your wallet in case you lost access to or forgot your password. But if you know your seed then you’re in business! Simply go to password reset, fill in the blanks and restore your password and gain access to your MetaMask wallet again.
Some tips to remember before and during using MetaMask
- MetaMask should be the only tab on your browser when using the wallet and must be locked after you’re done with it. In fact, you should dedicate an entire browser to your wallet to maximize security.
- Keep your private keys, your password, and the 12-word seed phrase to yourself, and never share them with anyone.
- MetaMask is compatible with so many hardware wallets, so it’s best to buy one and link the two together and reach the %100 level security.
MetaMask is an Ethereum-oriented software wallet that stores Ethereum-based cryptocurrencies and NFTs. ETH and ERC-20 tokens are the only cryptocurrency tokens that MetaMask supports and Bitcoin and other non-Ethereum tokens are off the table. MetaMask is one of the safest options among software wallets available, but it’s best to be linked to another hardware wallet and there are so many of them compatible with MetaMask to choose from. With the ever-growing community and popularity of the Ethereum blockchain and its tokens, MetaMask will continue to be one of the most beloved wallets in the crypto community.