What is MetaMask wallet? The top Ethereum wallet explored
With a global crypto market cap of $1.27T, according to CoinMarketCap data, it is imperative that we have reliable options to store our cryptocurrencies. Of the many hot and cold wallets on the market today, MetaMask is a popular option. What is MetaMask wallet? It is a leading Ethereum wallet that falls under the category of hot wallets.
In essence, a hot wallet is a crypto wallet connected to the internet. Cold wallets, on the other hand, operate primarily offline and serve as 'cold storage'. Numerous types of wallets fall under these two categories. MetaMask is classified as a web wallet (aka a software wallet).
What is MetaMask wallet and why is it popular?
Despite its popularity, many still ask, 'What is MetaMask wallet?'. MetaMask boasts an intuitive, elegant design and an easy-to-use interface.
The cryptocurrency wallet enables users to store Ethereum (ETH) and other ERC20 tokens and serves as an easy access point to the Web3 ecosystem of cryptocurrencies and decentralised applications (DApps), as well as decentralised finance (DeFi), and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Essentially, the web wallet is a browser plugin – all you need is Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera, or a Chromium-based browser like Brave to get started. You can also download the wallet as a software wallet on your Android or iOS device. Install the browser plugin and set up your wallet in just a few minutes.
Please note: ONLY install the official MetaMask plugin (aka extension or add-on) for your designated browser.
Once you have installed and set up MetaMask, you can store ETH and ERC20 assets, transact with any ETH address, interact with Ethereum-based DApps, participate in play-to-earn (P2E) games, stake tokens for rewards, and trade tokens on decentralised exchanges (DEXs), and access DeFi apps like Compound and PoolTogether.
Now that we have answered what is MetaMask wallet let's explore the setup process.
How to set up a MetaMask wallet
Depending on your internet speed, it typically takes a minute to download the plugin. Once you have downloaded the plugin, a new tab will automatically open on your browser, directing you through the wallet setup procedure.
Click "Create a New Wallet" to begin. A set of terms and conditions will appear on your screen. Read through each to understand how the data they collect will be used to enhance your user experience. Click on the I Agree option when you are ready to continue/consent to the terms and conditions.
At this stage, you will be asked to create a secure password. You should note that the service provider CANNOT recover this password for you, so scribble it down somewhere or memorise it thoroughly! The password serves as a means to unlock your wallet on that device.
Create an eight-character password (minimum length) consisting of at least one lowercase and uppercase letter, metacharacters, and numbers. Re-enter your password, tick the I Understand that MetaMask Cannot Recover this Password for Me box, and click the Create a New Wallet option to continue.
As you can see below, there are only two more steps left to complete.
The Secure Wallet step is of utmost importance. We recommend watching the short video to understand the significance of your Secret Recovery Phrase and how you can do your bit to keep your MetaMask wallet safe. Essentially, the 12-word Secret Recovery Phrase is your master key to access your wallet and all its funds.
For safekeeping, note down the Secret Recovery Phrase and store it in a safe deposit box. We recommend keeping multiple, concealed copies of the Secret Recovery Phrase to be on the safer side. Remember, DO NOT share your Secret Recovery Phrase with anyone. This includes family and friends.
Click on the Secure My Wallet (Recommended) option to continue.
Click on the Reveal Secret Recovery Phrase option and consider the above suggestions. Make sure no one is looking.
Once you have noted your Secret Recovery Phrase, click the Next option to continue.
At this stage, you will be asked to confirm your Secret Recovery Phrase. You need to fill in the blanks with the Secret Recovery Phrase words in the correct order. Upon confirmation, a message will appear on your screen affirming successful creation.
To continue to the MetaMask homepage, click the Got It! button. First, we recommend pinning the MetaMask browser extension. This will make it easily accessible and transaction confirmation will be more straightforward. Click on the extensions icon to the right of the URL bar and pin the MetaMask plugin to your browser.
You are now all set to go. Click on the plugin extension to commence proceedings!
How to use MetaMask wallet
At this stage, you are connected to Ethereum Mainnet and can buy, send, swap, and bridge assets and NFTs. To change/add a network, click on the Ethereum Mainnet option and add the network of your choice. At the time of writing, ten options are available.
These include Arbitrum One, Avalanche Network C-Chain, BNB Smart Chain, Fantom Opera, Optimism, and Polygon Mainnet.
To unravel all possibilities, explore MetaMask in detail. It is worth adding that you can connect your wallet to a cold storage option such as Ledger or Trezor! If any queries arise, feel free to reach out to MetaMask Support.
Author: Surajdeep Singh
Surajdeep Singh has been working in the tech sphere as a marketing guru and journalist for over 6 years, with his speciality laying in blockchain and Web3. He has donned several hats in marketing and journalism over the years and worked with many reputable brands. Feel free to reach out to him on LinkedIn!