Is MetaMask the only wallet you'll need, and is there more to this wallet than meets the eye?
MetaMask has made huge waves in 2021 as users have flocked to DeFi platforms, Ethereum DApps, and the flood of new projects launching on the Ethereum network this year. But is MetaMask the only wallet you'll need, and is there more to this wallet than meets the eye?
What is MetaMask?
MetaMask is an Ethereum wallet that provides support not just for Ethereum itself but for many of the tokens on the network. It even has some support (albeit limited for now) for NFTs and collectibles. The most common way to use MetaMask is via their fantastic browser extension, which is supported across Chrome, Brave, Firefox, and even Edge. Yet, a growing number of users also are opting to use their mobile apps on Android and IOS that provide an in-app DApp browser so that you can do quite a bit on the move as well.
MetaMask is More than Just a Wallet
MetaMask isn't just trying to be a generic ethereum wallet, and its popularity is likely primarily due to the fact that it is much more than that. Using MetaMask, you can intuitively connect with websites that leverage Ethereum and MetaMask for quick, easy, and seamless access to your accounts.
For what Google, Facebook, and others large platforms have provided for ease of access to websites that use them for authentication, when it comes to Ethereum, MetaMask steals the show here. While hardware wallets are becoming more standard, there's also support for them here, which is always a great bonus. While you may be quick to discount this as just another way to login, when you consider that you're now adding the power to do far more with just one extension, there's a lot of power in that which will only grow as the ecosystem surrounding it does.
Using MetaMask doesn't even require you to download the Ethereum blockchain or run a node, and while this is a deal-breaker for some users. However, for more casual use cases, this is not something that seems to worry the more than 4 million estimated users (based on Chrome extension download stats) and does provide quite a bit of convenience, saved space on your device, and setup time.
How to Connect to MetaMask from a Website
Navigate to the website for which you wish to connect. Often if there is support for MetaMask, you will be able to find a button labeled something along the lines of “connect to wallet,” though not always. Some platforms may just request approval to connect once you perform an action that would require authorization to complete, such is the case on LocalCoinSwap.
MetaMask is Non-Custodial
At LocalCoinSwap, we understand the importance of giving people the option to be fully in control of their assets, and this is something that is clearly understood by the MetaMask team as well. Therefore, when creating a wallet using MetaMask, you are provided with your seed phrase, and like LocalCoinSwap with your account password, you'll be required to keep this safe.
While many of us have grown accustomed to being lazy with passwords in the past, crypto is something that has forced many of us to start to understand better the value in keeping our funds secure, along with our accounts. Of course, part of that is giving as little to third parties as possible, which is why the non-custodial nature of MetaMask wallets is a great thing.
How Does MetaMask Work?
You can be up and running with MetaMask in just a few moments by installing the extension and following the prompts to create your wallet and backup your seed phrase. Be sure to record your seed phase securely offline when creating your wallet, as it provides complete control of your funds, making it not something you'd ever want in the wrong hands.
If you already have your private keys from another wallet, you can easily import these as well, just as you can seed phrases from other Ethereum wallets. If you wanted to, you could even export your Ethereum private key from LocalCoinSwap, though thanks to inbuilt support, you can trade straight from your MetaMask wallet directly if you choose.
How to Send Tokens to MetaMask?
Open MetaMask by clicking the extension icon. Once you have it open, simply hover over the account you wish to use, and you'll see "copy to clipboard" displayed; click it to copy the address, and then you can send funds to it using any Ethereum wallet. The process is the same whether you are sending Ethereum or tokens.
How to Transfer Tokens from MetaMask?
Open MetaMask, select the account you want to use if you have more than one and choose the token you wish to transfer. You can then add a receiving address to transfer your tokens or Ethereum from MetaMask.
- MetaMask Alternatives
- Trust Wallet
How do I set the Gas Limit and Gas Price in MetaMask?
When performing a transaction using MetaMask, you’ll be presented with three questions, asset, amount, and transaction fee. If you want to use settings outside of the defaults offered, you can do so by clicking advanced before confirming, and then you can then set a custom gas limit and gas price for your transaction.
For calculating gas for your ethereum or token transactions, check out ETH Gas Station or Etherscan’s Gas Tracker for the latest estimates and statistics.
How Secure is MetaMask?
Firstly, it's worth noting that MetaMask should be considered a hot wallet in that it's internet-facing, and your private keys are being stored inside your browser. This reality is important to understand. While MetaMask has proven itself to be a great project, it's not ideal for storing large amounts of Ethereum or tokens in your MetaMask wallet. Taking advantage of the hardware wallet support offered should help here, but this is just something to be mindful of and perhaps treated in the same way you would when using a mobile wallet for easy access crypto storage for when you're out and about.
Secondly, due to the popularity of MetaMask, phishing attempts are common. Phishing can be avoided by ensuring that you are careful when downloading the extension (or mobile app) by ensuring that you use links directly from the official MetaMask website. Being extra cautious allows you to place less trust in layers of external sources, especially app stores or web searches, which, as we all know, can be far less than perfect at times. Bookmarking important links is an excellent way to help find them in the future as well.
Another thing to beware of, as you should always be when making transactions with any cryptocurrency, is being sure you understand what exactly you are agreeing to at any point. MetaMask is very easy to use, but that doesn't mean that complacency should creep into how you manage your Ether. While MetaMask will go out of its way to ask you whenever a DApp is requesting it to perform an action requiring authorization, just take a moment to double-check the details and, if in doubt, opt-out.
How to Add Custom Tokens to MetaMask
If you're jumping on new projects or those that are less well known, you may, from time to time, want to add a custom token to MetaMask, but don't worry, this is pretty easy to do. Just open MetaMask, click the menu, select add token, then custom token, and follow the prompts. You can quickly find smart contract addresses for the token you want to add using Etherscan.
MetaMask on Mobile Devices
Until the launch of the MetaMask app on Android and iOS, you were more limited in how and where you could use it. Why this was an issue, and still is to some degree, is that browser extensions don't have the same support by browsers on mobile platforms. To help deal with this lack of functionality, the MetaMask mobile apps allow you to use the in-app DApp browser to interact with many popular Ethereum DApps such as Uniswap while still enjoying the added functionality coming with MetaMask integration.
How Do You Make Transactions with MetaMask?
You can just click the MetaMask icon in your browser menu to open up the app at any time and send a transaction. However, if you're logged in to sites with support or have granted some access to a platform you are using, you can also sign transactions with a click or two of your mouse.
MetaMask is integrated into the non-custodial trading of Ethereum on LocalCoinSwap and is commonly leveraged by our users to trade with ease. Integrations like this help you avoid paying excess transaction fees caused by moving funds between different platform wallets, saving you both time and money. When using your MetaMask account to trade on LocalCoinSwap, you'll be prompted to sign transactions. It’s easy to do; just follow the prompts, check the details, and with a couple of clicks, you’re done.
MetaMask is just one of the many interesting projects in the Ethereum ecosystem. If you are interested in learning more about Ethereum, or cryptocurrency in general, be sure to check out some of our other articles.