MetaMask is a popular cryptocurrency wallet that’s available both as a browser extension and as a mobile app.
MetaMask gives you access to a with a key vault, secure login, token wallet, and token exchange so you can effectively manage your digital assets in a secure and non-custodial manner.
MetaMask for account management
At its core, MetaMask allows users to manage their crypto accounts and their private keys in a variety of ways, including hardware wallets, while keeping them secure.
This is a great security improvement over storing the user keys on a single central server, or even in local storage, which can allow for mass account thefts.
It also comes pre-loaded with fast connections to the Ethereum blockchain via Infura, and users can also add new connections to other blockchains or node providers easily.
MetaMask for token swaps
Metamask also allows users to easily swap between different tokens directly from your desktop or mobile wallet. It combines data from decentralized exchange aggregators, market makers, and decentralized exchanges, to ensure you get the very best price with the lowest network fees.
MetaMask helps you find the best prices at reduced gas costs. A service fee of 0.875% is factored into each quote.
How to Install MetaMask
MetaMask can be installed from the browser download page or from the mobile app store.
Always ensure that you’re downloading the official version of the MetaMask application to prevent phishing attacks!
MetaMask is supported on Chromium-based browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Brave Browser and Microsoft Edge.
Installing MetaMask from the webstore
On the respective extensions or add-ons store for your browser, download and install the MetaMask extension.
How to create a MetaMask wallet
Once installed, click on Get Started. You’ll then be asked if you want to setup a new wallet or import an existing wallet.
If this is your first time, click on Create a Wallet and agree to the usage analytics on the next page.
You’ll be asked to create a password of at least 8 characters — this step is to encrypt the private keys on the browser.
Once a password is created, click on Create and then click Next.
You’ll be shown a screen displaying your secret recovery phrase or also known as a seed phrase— a 12-word phrase used as a master key to your wallet and funds stored in it. DO NOT LOSE THIS OR REVEAL IT TO ANYONE.
You will need this set of 12 words for restoring the same wallet on another browser or on your mobile phone. Imagine this as your banking credentials — lose it and anyone can steal your funds.
Once you’ve saved and backed up your 12 word seed phrase, click Next and you have successfully created a new wallet!
Locating your wallet address and transferring funds
Your newly created wallet address (similar to a bank account number) can be found on the top under the words Account 1. Click on it to copy it to the clipboard and send this address to your friends to receive funds to your address.
Renaming your wallet and exporting its private key
You can rename your wallet from Account 1 to something else. Click on the ellipsis icon and click Account details.
From there, you can use the pencil icon to rename your wallet.
In the same screen, you can also view your wallet transactions on the block explorer Etherscan or export its private key for safekeeping.
Buying ETH from MetaMask
MetaMask has a built-in feature to purchase new Ether (ETH) directly using your debit or credit card with its partnerships with Wyre and Transak. Using these services are relatively expensive though, since they usually charge a service and processing fee of 3.5% on top.
Alternatively, you can purchase ETH on an exchange and then withdraw it into your wallet.
When you have ETH in your wallet, you can finally participate in self-custody and decentralized finance!