MetaMask: an overview of the wallet for Ethereum cryptocurrency, ERC20 and ERC72271 tokens

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MetaMask is a decentralized wallet for Ethereum and ERC20 tokens, presented as a browser extension (there was also an application on a mobile phone recently, it is now in early access and may be unstable). Allows the user to send, receive, and exchange cryptocurrencies with full control over their keys. MetaMask generates passwords and keys directly on the device, so only the owner has access to their funds and confidential information. In addition, the wallet allows interoperability with other blockchain applications such as the Compound credit pool or the Uniswap crypto exchange.

Btcnewsweb.com editors prepared an overview of the Metamask decentralized wallet and all its main features. Now the field of DeFi (decentralized finance) is rapidly gaining capitalization and the volume of daily transactions, offers various ways of passive income. An application such as Metamask allows you to conveniently and fairly securely work with smart contracts.

Basic information

NameMetaMask 
Official sitehttps://metamask.io/
ServicesDecentralized cryptocurrency wallet
Supported cryptocurrenciesETH, ERC20 tokens, ERC72271 tokens (collectible)
Storing private keysUser has them
CommissionsNetwork commissions only (gas)
Minimum deposit / withdrawal amountNo
Russian languageYes, partially
Sourcehttps://github.com/MetaMask/metamask-extension
Contactssupport@metamask.io

Creating a wallet and getting started

To install Metamask, go to the official website https://metamask.io/ and click the Download button in the upper right corner.

You can go the other way and immediately find Metamask in the extension directory for Google Chrome or in the app store of your phone (Android and iOS are supported). Applications developed for Google Chrome can be installed on any browsers using the same engine, including Brave, Yandex.Browser, etc.

On the extension page, click Add to Chrome and confirm your action.

When the extension is successfully installed, the wallet page will open. Now Metamask will always be available in the browser add-ons panel. Click Get Started.

Choose one of the options:

  • 1 – if you have previously used another wallet for Ethereum and you have a twelve-word seed phrase with which you can restore access to the balance.
  • 2 – if you want to create a wallet from scratch by getting a new seed phrase.

After clicking on the “Create wallet” button Metamask will ask you to allow it to collect data about your actions. This does NOT apply to sensitive data or keys. This refers to clicks and page transitions, on the basis of which a publicly available dashboard is then formed. You have the right to opt out of data collection now, or do it later at any time in the settings. It is recommended to agree, as it will not affect your security in any way, but it will help the developers to improve the wallet.

Think of a password that is at least eight characters long. Agree to the terms of service.

Next, a seed phrase is generated. Take this step carefully, write down the phrase and save it in a safe place. It may be required in the future to restore access to the wallet.

On the next screen, you must confirm that you have saved the seed phrase. Arrange the words in the correct order.

If you want to use Metamask from both your phone and computer at the same time, then there is a synchronization function:

✅  Install the mobile app.

✅  Select the Sync or Import option.

✅  Click Scan QR code.

✅  Open the MetaMask extension on your computer.

✅  Go to settings, to the Advanced section.

✅  Click Sync with mobile device. A QR code will appear.

✅  Scan this code using the mobile app.

Refill

The MetaMask wallet can be used without cryptocurrency, just as a login manager for various sites. But funding an account in ETH or tokens allows you to use a wide variety of decentralized services – investing, trading, playing games, collecting virtual collectibles, etc.

There are two main ways to fund your account in Metamask:

❄️ Transfer coins or tokens from another wallet.

If you just click on the name of your account, the address will be automatically copied, after which you can transfer funds to it from your wallet or crypto exchange. You can also view the address by clicking on the three dots in the upper right corner and then on “Account Details”. There will also be a QR code for a quick transfer of cryptocurrency from mobile wallets.

❄️ Buy coins.

Metamask supports direct purchase of ETH from a card. If you click on the Buy button, you can choose to pay via Wyre or Coinswitch. The first option supports only dollars, the second – many world currencies, including the ruble.

CoinSwitch charges a commission from 0% to 0.49% + network fees. Wyre 3.2% + network fees. Transferring from another wallet usually only includes network fees.

Sending cryptocurrency

To send a transaction from Metamask, click the “Send” button.

Insert in the field above the ETH address to which you want to transfer coins. Any address can be added to the address book in order to quickly find it later.

Select an asset. By default, only Ethereum is available, other tokens must be added separately. Below we will explain how this is done. Specify the amount or click the “Maximum” button. For clarity, the amount will also be automatically converted into dollars at the current exchange rate.

Choose a commission. The higher it is, the faster the transfer will reach the recipient, since the miners who verify transactions prioritize payments with high or medium fees. In the Ethereum network, the fees are not so large as to save on them, risking a frozen transaction. By clicking the “Advanced settings” button, you can make more detailed gas settings and see the approximate time of transaction confirmation.

Adding a new token

The Metamask crypto wallet supports ETH and all the tokens running on this blockchain. However, adding assets, with the exception of the ether itself, must be manually added. How it’s done:

✅  Click “Add Token” on the main screen, which lists the assets you have.

✅  You can quickly find the required token by name or ticker.

✅  Or go to the “Custom Token” tab. Here you can enter the address of any token of interest on the Ethereum blockchain.

To find out the address of the token contract, use the Etherscan.io blockchain browser. Find the asset of interest there and copy the information from the Contract line.

If another person assures you that he has sent you a token, and you cannot find such an asset either by adding a token to Metamask or via Etherscan, then most likely no transaction exists. Ask him to provide the correct contract address.

Account settings

To get to Metamask Settings, click on the account icon in the upper right and go to the corresponding section. Settings include several subsections:

✅  Basic. Setting the language and currency displayed in priority when making transactions. You can also enable Blockies Identicon here – this is a unique image that is randomly generated based on a seed phrase. Can be used to represent a wallet address.

✅  Advanced. You can download the logs of all your transactions in .json format, set up synchronization with a mobile application, reset your account (clear all history). A number of functions are also activated here – provoked gas control, displaying a hexadecimal HEX value when sending funds, displaying conversion to fiat in test networks, and not only in the main one and many others.

✅  Contacts. All wallets ever used in Metamask from this device are added here.

✅  Security and privacy. View your passphrase (password required). Activation of options for displaying incoming transactions, displaying warnings about possible phishing, participation in the analytical program M

✅  Alerts. Here you can enable a notification that you are on the Web3 site, but not authorized in the wallet.

✅  Networks. Metamask allows you to add and configure various test networks in addition to the Ethereum mainnet. For example: Ropsten, Rinkeby, Goerli, Kovan. To add a new network, you will need to enter its RPC URL, name, and optionally – ID, symbol and URL of the blockchain browser.

The last subsection, “About Us”, contains information about the version of the wallet, privacy policy, terms of use, links to technical support, etc.

Account import and hardware wallet connection

To import an existing wallet into Metamask, click on the account image and select “Import account”. You can do this using a saved transaction history JSON file, or a private key.

Imported accounts are “free” – they have nothing to do with the main seed you received when you created your wallet. If you ever lose access to Metamask, and then restore it using the recovery phrase, then the connected accounts will no longer be there. Therefore, store sensitive information from the imported accounts as securely as from the main wallet.

You can also connect a hardware wallet to Metamask. This is done in the same section, on the next tab. This function is not yet available in the mobile application.

Algorithm of actions:

✅  Connect a physical Trezor or Ledger device to your PC.

✅  Click “Connect” in the wallet window.

✅  Select the required account.

After that, you can freely use your hardware account like any other Ethereum account – send and receive cryptocurrency, use dApps, etc. Some sites support integration with MetaMask, but not Trezor or Ledger. Synchronizing your wallet with a hardware device allows you to interact with sites in this way.

Advantages and disadvantages

Pros: ✅

✅  The user’s keys are stored on his device, as a result of which they are not available for hacker attacks.

✅  Intuitive user interface.

✅  Support for all tokens located on the Ethereum blockchain.

✅  Integration of payment systems for buying cryptocurrency from a card.

✅  Connecting Trezor and Ledger hardware wallets.

✅  The wallet is of a hierarchically determined type, which allows the client to back up the account.

✅  Open source.

✅  Mobile app.

✅  Responsive technical support, knowledge base, blog. 

Cons: ❌

❌  Like any online wallet, it is at risk of outside interference.

❌  Many fraudulent pop-up schemes from Metamask.

Conclusion

For both a beginner and an experienced user, MetaMask is a convenient asset management option. This is due to its simplicity and functionality at the same time. The launch of the mobile application further expanded the potential audience of the wallet, since now most of the world’s operations are carried out precisely from mobile devices. It is convenient on the road or other situation when there is no access to a computer.

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