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MetaMask

MetaMask

MetaMask is a crypto wallet and gateway to blockchain apps in the Ethereum ecosystem.

Overview

MetaMask is a free crypto wallet and gateway to blockchain apps. It equips users with a key vault, secure login, token wallet, and token exchange to manage their digital assets. MetaMask also provides users with a simple and secure way to connect to blockchain-based applications. It supports Ethereum and its ecosystem and is available as a browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, Brave, and Edge and as a mobile app on Andriod and iOS. MetaMask supports Ethereum-compatible Layer 2 networks, such as Polygon, Optimism, Arbitrum, zkSync, Celo, and Avalanche, which represent more than 90 percent of global smart contract network volume.

MetaMask has not supported use with Bitcoin or non-Ethereum-related coins.However, in April 2022, MetaMask announced adding support for Bitcoin and other networks through "Snaps."

MetaMask has over 30 million monthly users as of March 2022. It is a product of ConsenSys, a market-leading blockchain technology company. MetaMask was founded in 2016 by Aaron Davis and Daniel Finlay.

Using MetaMask

MetaMask can be installed as a browser extension in Chrome, Firefox, Brave, and Edge or on Android or iOS mobile devices and is a way to interact and use decentralized apps (dApps).

Setup and security

MetaMask is designed to be easy to set up and use and is anonymous and does not link to an email address. The browser extension can be quickly downloaded and installed, or the mobile app can be installed from an app store.

Users only need a password and a twelve-word recovery phrase, also known as a seed phrase. However, there is no support for users who forget or lose their recovery phrase. Once lost, wallet access and assets inside the wallet are also lost. Also, if another person gets the seed phrase, they can access that wallet. Therefore, it is very important users store the phrase in a safe and secure place, preferably on paper and not in a digital location that is easy to hack, like email or digital screenshots and photos. If a user switches browsers or machines, they can access the MetaMask wallet with the recovery phrase.

Being a hot wallet, MetaMask may not be the most reliable way to store large crypto amounts or valuable crypto assets (similar to not keeping all one's assets in a traditional wallet). Some security tips for keeping a MetaMask wallet secure include the following:

  • Using MetaMask with one, dedicated browser, with MetaMask as the only tab in that browser
  • Using social media and/or Google accounts on the same browser as MetaMask is not recommended
  • Keeping the Metamask 12-word recovery phrase, private keys, and password private/safely stored
  • Utilizing a hardware wallet to store any valuable crypto assets outside of a hot wallet
Multiple accounts

Users can add multiple accounts to their MetaMask wallet. For instance, a user can have an NFT account and a business account individually on MetaMask. Notably, each account will have its own pair of public-private keys; however, the 12-word recovery phase is the master key to all of the accounts. Each account's public key is for receiving funds, and the private key is for accessing funds and should be kept private and secure.

Buy, send, and swap

MetaMask allows users to buy, send, and swap digital assets in the Ethereum ecosystem. To buy, MetaMask allows users to choose to buy Ethereum or Ethereum-related assets through Wyre or Transak, and purchases will include fees. iOS app users can use Apple Pay to buy assets. To send, a user will need the public key of the wallet they want to send the assets to and will need to also pay gas fees. Finally, users can swap tokens for a fee, while also being able to designate a max slippage percent. MetaMask’s in-app swap feature has enabled more than $10 billion in peer-to-peer token swapping.

Timeline

2016
MetaMask tool is started by Aaron Davisand Daniel Finlay.

Products

Patents

Further Resources

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

A Beginner's Guide To MetaMask: The Most Powerful Hot Ethereum Wallet

Web

November 29, 2021

A Step-By-Step Guide For Adding A Custom Token In MetaMask

Sudhir Khatwani

Web

HOW TO: Use MetaMask and MyEtherWallet To Send Ether & Tokens!

January 9, 2018

MetaMask Introduction

Web

July 14, 2016

MetaMask now supports Ledger Hardware Wallets - MetaMask - Medium

Bruno Barbieri

News

News

Title
Author
Date
Publisher
Description
Tim Copeland
July 17, 2021
The Block
Here's how a white hat hacker used flashbots to rescue half of the victim's crypto holdings in a race against time.
Yogita Khatri
April 28, 2021
The Block
ConsenSys-owned Ethereum wallet MetaMask has crossed 5 million monthly active users, thanks to DeFi and NFT booms.
Mike Butcher
April 13, 2021
TechCrunch
ConsenSys, a key player in crypto and a major proponent of the Ethereum blockchain, has raised a $65 million funding round from J.P. Morgan, Mastercard, and UBS AG, as well as major blockchain companies Protocol Labs, the Maker Foundation, Fenbushi, The LAO and Alameda Research. Additional investors include CMT Digital and the Greater Bay Area Homeland Development [...]
Omar Faridi
May 11, 2020
Crowdfund Insider
Google removes 22 Chrome browser extensions impersonating widely-used cryptocurrency wallet providers like Trezor, Ledger, MetaMask.

References

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