Most of the decentralized applications that have been brought into our lives by decentralized finance, which has been on the agenda recently, have been developed on the Ethereum blockchain network. The tool, which is a bridge that allows us to interact with this ecosystem on Ethereum and also functions as a cryptocurrency wallet, is called MetaMask.
MetaMask was launched in 2016 by blockchain software company ConsenSys. MetaMask offers a wallet service for Ethereum based (eg ERC-20) tokens. At the same time, MetaMask, which provides access to Ethereum-based decentralized applications, allows users to use their tokens in these applications. Users can also access decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols such as Uniswap.
Available as a browser extension and mobile application, MetaMask can also be used on integrated websites.
How is MetaMask different from other wallets?
In addition to providing a wallet service for Ethereum-based tokens, MetaMask also offers access to decentralized applications and DeFi protocols in the Ethereum ecosystem.
MetaMask users can setup without the need to download the entire Ethereum blockchain. The wallet sends requests to nodes other than the user’s computer.
Instead of managing users’ private keys, they just need to remember the words that make up their password; transactions are signed on behalf of users.
The fact that MetaMask can be used directly on integrated websites offers an advantage against wallets that require manual settings.
On the other hand, MetaMask, a hot wallet, stores users’ private keys in their browsers. This makes the wallet more vulnerable than hardware wallets or paper wallets. Users should be careful about the websites they grant access to.
Screenshot of the MetaMask browser extension. Source: Decrypt
Is MetaMask safe?
According to MetaMask’s website, the tool keeps wallet data private until the user allows to share their account address. MetaMask notifies the user when a website sends a request to view the user’s account address.
Transactions made using MetaMask are recorded on the Ethereum blockchain and can be viewed by anyone. Due to the anonymity of the accounts in the Ethereum network, only those who know that the account address belongs to you can see that the transaction is done by you.
MetaMask stores users’ login passwords, recovery passwords and private keys on the device where it is installed in encrypted form.
MetaMask users need to keep their recovery password in a safe place. In the event of a device malfunction or a reset of the browser, the wallet can only be recovered with the recovery password. Physically storing the recovery password on paper is the most common storage method.
The recovery password and private keys should never be given to someone or a website. It is recommended to only allow access to trusted websites.
How to download MetaMask?
MetaMask can be downloaded both as a browser extension and as a mobile application. Download links for both versions can be accessed at MetaMask.io.
MetaMask browser extension is supported in four browsers including Google Chrome, Firefox, Brave Browser and Edge. The mobile application is available in both iOS and Android stores.