Ethereum wallets differ from Bitcoin wallets in many ways. Although Bitcoin wallets are designed to store bitcoin securely for long periods of storage, Ethereum wallets can be used as browsers. These wallets act more as portals to the Ethereum blockchain’s ecosystem of decentralized apps. They often look more like an application store than a crypto wallet. MetaMask, the most popular Ethereum wallet, is also the most used. This review focuses on the platform’s features and services, pros, cons, security measures and mobile app pricing and fees.
What is MetaMask?
Consensys created MetaMask in 2016 in order to make it easier to access dApps, or decentralized apps, such as DEXs (decentralized Exchanges), online gaming platforms and opportunities to stake in DeFi (decentralized Finance) spaces. MetaMask, a digital wallet that stores cryptocurrency, is built on the Ethereum blockchain. It has over 10 million users in the crypto community.
The digital wallet acts as a host network and a bridge between a web browser extension, Ethereum blockchain, and a secure crypto wallet.
The digital crypto wallet allows users to store ETH and any ERC20 tokens created using the Ethereum blockchain network. They can also use digital assets with their preferred dApp. MetaMask was initially only available as an extension for browsers that used Chromium-based web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Brave, and Chrome.
As cryptocurrency and crypto wallets became more popular, MetaMask released a mobile app for Android and iPhone. This allows people to use the MetaMask extension and a dedicated mobile application on the move.
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MetaMask’s encryption capabilities are what makes it different from other hardware wallets. The private keys and seed phrases of users are safely stored. Users are only responsible for managing their individual seed phrases.
The wallet is designed for Ethereum, but it also allows access to other networks such as the BSC (Binance Smart Chain), and many other testnets. It also allows users to switch between mainnet networks with ease. It also makes it easy to connect multiple hardware wallets.
How to set MetaMask up
It is easy to set up a MetaMask account. To do this, download the browser extension for Brave or Google Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge or the app for Android and Apple iOS.
After downloading, users will be asked to either import their wallet using the 12-word seed phrase or create a new one. Users will choose “Create a Wallet” to create a new wallet. They will then be asked for permission to collect anonymous usage data in order to improve the product. However, MetaMask won’t collect keys, transaction data or IP addresses. Those concerned about privacy can opt out.
Users will then create a new password of at least eight characters. Finally, they will be presented with information about their secret recovery phase. Every user must write down the 12-word seed phrase. This will allow them to transfer the wallet to other devices and reset the password if they lose it.
The process is completed once the 12-word seed phrase has been confirmed. Users have access to the app via their wallet address. They can send and receive cryptocurrency as well as add NFTs.
MetaMask wallet offers a unique trade function which allows users to perform P2P (peer-2-peer) token Swaps from their wallets. Crypto swaps are not conducted through order books, decentralized exchange liquidity models or exchanges. Instead, they use aggregated information from multiple DEXs, Automated Market Makers(AMM), and DEX aggregators. Crypto Swaps allows its users to trade cryptocurrency directly without having to interact with any intermediary or custodial platform. This reduces friction, lowers costs and limits slippage.
Access to dApps
MetaMask users have access to the crypto wallet for a wide range of ETH-based dApps and ETH-powered Games, as well as crypto lending products, NFTs and other crypto-related products. MetaMask’s built-in crypto wallet makes it easy to spend, stake or send crypto within the ETH ecosystem. It doesn’t require any additional wallet integration or unapproved transactions. This cryptocurrency wallet provides a direct entry point to the world of DeFi, and other blockchain services and sectors.
MetaMask has been recently optimized to integrate with BSC (Binance smart chain). This allows users to switch between their Binance or Ethereum crypto wallets, access any dApps from both platforms and trade on decentralized exchanges using both networks, but not simultaneously. MetaMask initially focused on Ethereum development, but it later expanded its access and integration to other blockchain networks. Its primary mission is to create an interconnected, interoperable Web 3.0 ecosystem.
MetaMask’s built-in wallet is used to store tokens based on ETH’s ERC-17 token and ERC-20 token standards. Users can create multiple wallet address IDs and navigate within the mobile app. Through the MetaMask extension, individuals can securely store their private keys and passwords in the browser thanks to the advanced encryption protocol.
This allows them to have more control over their public and private keys. All new users receive a set private seed phrase upon creating a new account. This can be used to retrieve accounts that have been lost, if necessary.
MetaMask can be a bit tricky in security. MetaMask does not have an Ethereum full node. This means that it is not the best choice for anyone who wants to get as much decentralization as possible. MetaMask doesn’t even manage the Ethereum servers that users use for information about the Ethereum blockchain. Infura is responsible for this task, which has been criticised in the past for being a centralized point failure for the larger Ethereum network. All of this being said, advanced users can connect their MetaMask wallets with their Ethereum full nodes if desired.
Because MetaMask is a popular Ethereum wallet, hackers have been targeting it over the years. Nefarious actors have created a malicious alternative to the MetaMask software, and gotten new users to install it instead of the original MetaMask wallet. This is the most successful attack. Once funds were transferred to the wallet, the coins of the new user would be immediately stolen. This type of attack can be prevented by making sure you are always using the original MetaMask software. Hackers often purchase Google Ads to target search terms that are related to MetaMask or other Ethereum wallets. Be on the lookout!
Is MetaMask Hackable?
Although hacking the wallet is not easy, we have discussed it in our MetaMask Wallet Review. However, there is still the possibility that the user is careless about their private keys or the secret recovery phrase. MetaMask, along with many other crypto wallets, recommends a hardware wallet for anyone who has large amounts of Ethereum or other tokens. This is because it is the best way to store Ethereum tokens.
MetaMask on Desktop
MetaMask is a popular choice for cryptocurrency wallets. It has more than 30 million monthly users across multiple browsers. The app allows users to send and receive coins using any wallet or smart contract that is compatible with a supported blockchain. Users can also purchase cryptocurrency from Wyre, Transak, or MoonPay. MetaMask does not collect any personally identifiable information about users who buy cryptocurrency. However, partners can use “Know Your Customer (KYC), which requires proof of identity and a payment method (such as a credit card) in order to keep regulatory compliance. MetaMask can also be used with the hardware cryptocurrency wallets Ledger or Trezor to allow users to transfer crypto and non-financial tokens (NFTs) from the software-based hot vault to the hardware cold wallets for safe storage.
MetaMask can be used on any connected website to send, get, or trade tokens. MetaMask will open in your browser to verify the details of the transaction, including price, expected gas fees, and contract details. Users will have the ability to increase or decrease their gas limit before confirming the transaction.
MetaMask wallet is available in both the Apple App Store as well as the Android Google Play Store. It supports both major smartphone platforms. MetaMask has a rating on the App Store of 4.6 stars based upon over 22100 ratings. On Google Play, the app is rated 4.6 stars based on more than 85,000 ratings. The wallet setting high transaction fees and slow web browsing speeds are two of the most common complaints in both stores.
The smartphone app works in the same way as the browser app for computers. Users can send and receive cryptocurrency on supported blockchains. They can also view NFT collections. It will ask users to confirm transactions and maximum gas fees before they are sent. Transak allows users to purchase Ethereum from the app. Transak on MetaMask Mobile supports transactions with bank transfers, credit cards, and Apple Pay for iOS devices. Once again, the provider may require users to input certain personally-identifiable information as part of their KYC regulatory protocols.
MetaMask vs. Other Wallets
Trust Wallet supports Bitcoin- and Ethereum-based Blockchain ecosystems.
Multi-platform, multichain crypto wallet with additional security features like private keys, mnemonic phrase, two-factor authentication and more.
Coinbase Wallet supports most crypto coins, including Bitcoin, Litecoin and XRP. Dogecoin, ERC-20 tokens and many others.
It supports more than 25 different blockchains, and offers additional security features like password protection and FaceID security.
Based on the speed of the exchange, users will have to pay any gas fees to the Blockchain. For any swaps, users will be charged a service charge that is between 0.3% and 0.875%.
Users can also expect to pay a MetaMask fee, a processing fee, and the market rate of gas when purchasing crypto.
Pros and Cons
|User-friendly design and interface that is easy to use.||Security concerns – A hot wallet.|
|Integration with ledger devices||Only support for ERC20 and Ethereum tokens|
|Backup of your account automatically|
It’s simple, accessible across devices, integrations with exchanges and NFT sites, and support for thousands of tokens across multiple blockchains make MetaMask a very popular wallet. The wallet is easy to use on most websites. You can send and receive cryptocurrency or trade NFTs online by following the prompts. Beginning users will love the ability to instantly purchase, use, or swap Ethereum. Advanced users will be able to adjust their maximum gas fees to lower costs while working on the blockchain.
The MetaMask wallet can be a great option for people who are familiar with cryptocurrency. However, it’s not the best choice for anyone new to the field. The wallet is vulnerable to malware and social engineering attacks so those who don’t know what to look out for could lose their assets. Users can lose their crypto assets permanently because they cannot reset a password without the 12-word secret phrase. Before logging in to MetaMask, or any other app, new users should research how to use cryptocurrency wallets.