When it comes to web wallets for DeFi, you will not find a single user claiming that there is a solution better than MetaMask. As the market’s number one choice, many investors tend to use this particular wallet when exploring the space of decentralized finance for the first time. For those who did not yet have the chance to do so, we wrote a simple beginner’s guide on how to use MetaMask.
Not an avid reader? That’s fine. You can also learn about MetaMask in video format!
MetaMask is undeniably the best and the most popular crypto wallet for the Ethereum network. All DeFi investors use it or have at least dabbled with MetaMask in the past, and those who have not heard about it are probably not too keen on yield farming, flash loans, and other new features from the world of decentralized finance.
According to MetaMask’s developers, the wallet reached 1 million monthly active users in October. Given that the DeFi market quadrupled since last fall, it is highly likely that MetaMask’s user base increased as well.
If you are looking to join the market for the first time but do not know how to use MetaMask or set up a MetaMask wallet, you have found the right place! We will demonstrate both issues step-by-step, but before that, we will first explain why it is the market’s best Ethereum web wallet.
What is MetaMask?
MetaMask is a Web 3.0 decentralized crypto wallet for the Ethereum ecosystem that supports all ERC-20 tokens. Since MetaMask comes in the form of a web extension, users can seamlessly use the wallet across numerous dApps and blockchain platforms with ease.
The wallet stores your keys privately on the browser where you have installed the app. Your keys can only be seen by yourself since they are not stored on any remote server, which is commonly done with most software wallets.
Another neat feature is that MetaMask is open-source, which means that everyone can read the app’s code, review it, or even update it. Most importantly, you can see for yourself that the wallet is safe and that no one has the ability to control your funds or issue transactions.
Users commonly praise MetaMask for its minimalistic design. The user interface is plain and simple. Most beginners have no problems setting up the wallet or using it. The installation process is also fast, so onboarding a massive number of new investors is not a problem.
But MetaMask is no longer just a cryptocurrency wallet. After partnering with two major crypto companies last year, the wallet implemented direct crypto purchases through Coinbase and ShapeShift.
If all of these features do not scream adoption, we do not know what does. There really is nothing better than MetaMask at the moment, especially for the DeFi market.
Why is MetaMask so popular?
The moment you visit a crypto platform, you’ll be greeted by a pop-up window asking for permission to connect your wallet with the dApp. Once accepted, you are ready to use your digital assets on the platform that you are visiting.
Let’s say that you plan to trade a few new DeFi tokens that have been launched recently. After visiting the Uniswap exchange, you’ll have to connect your MetaMask account. Add the token address to your wallet and search for its ticker on Uniswap. After selecting how much you’re willing to pay for the tokens, your only job is to confirm the transaction and wait for a few minutes for the assets to land in the MetaMask wallet.
From start to finish, the entire timeline of events can be summarized in only one small paragraph. For how many wallets or exchanges can you say the same? The value of MetaMask truly lies in its flexibility and speed, which is why so many investors love using it.
You also have to understand that MetaMask is effectively the first good crypto wallet that works as a browser extension. As such, it became popular with the widespread adoption of DeFi - a time during which MetaMask began skyrocketing in usage.
Is MetaMask safe?
We have finally come to the big question: Is MetaMask safe?
Naturally, the main priority of crypto wallets is to be as safe as possible. But you can’t improve upon a wallet when its inherent design represents the main hindrance and limitation.
Do not get us wrong, MetaMask is a great wallet that is safe to use. Rarely anyone complains about getting hacked or randomly losing assets. As long as you safeguard your private keys and don’t visit any shady sites, you are completely safe.
Therefore, MetaMask’s safety boils down to one factor: your personal oversight. If you accidentally download malware, it is likely possible to catch a virus that infects your browser, and if you are particularly unlucky, the virus will scrap all data found on your browser - including your private keys.
Since MetaMask is a browser wallet, it is always connected to the internet. All it takes to lose your assets is one accident during which someone else gets hold of your account. Because of this, most users install their MetaMask wallet on a secondary browser that they do not use. Although a good tactic, it does not completely eliminate all risks.
In summary: MetaMask is a safe wallet used for storing cryptocurrencies and interacting with dApps. However, since it is connected to the internet and the private keys are stored on your web browser, there is a chance for a hacker to exploit your system and steal your asset.
Now that we have briefly passed over the main features and aspects of MetaMask, it is time to learn how to install MetaMask and use it. Both explanations will be in the form of step-by-step guides, so there is no need to worry about messing up or failing.
How to Install MetaMask
Open a web browser that supports MetaMask. At the time of writing, users can install MetaMask on Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Brave.
Visit the official metamask.io website to download the wallet for your respective browser
Click on the MetaMask extension in the top right corner of your browser.
Set up your new wallet by inputting a strong password and write it down on a piece of paper
Next, MetaMask will show you a list of 12 seed phrases that can be later used to backup your account and access your wallet from a new browser. Since this information is critical, make sure to write it down as well - preferably in multiple places.
Confirm that you have memorized the seed phrases by ‘reading them back’ to the MetaMask wallet and arranging them in the same order.
That’s it! You are now done with the entire account process, and there is nothing else that needs to be done. Easy, wasn’t it?
How to use MetaMask
Using MetaMask for the first time involves the same process as when trying out any other crypto wallet. On that account, the first step is to deposit crypto funds to your account so that you can start using decentralized exchanges like Uniswap, SushiSwap, 1Inch, etc.
After clicking on the extension, the first thing that you see is a field named “Account 1” under which your public address is located. You can copy that address to send cryptocurrencies from another exchange or wallet to it. Alternatively, you can click the ‘Buy button’ and purchase Ether and other ERC-20 tokens from Coinbase or Shapeshift.
Once you have your assets, you can make a transaction by clicking ‘send.’ Input an address and confirm the transactions in order to complete the process.
When you interact with Ethereum dApps, the process revolves around confirming transactions, so there is not much to be explained. Practically, all you have to do is connect to an app, select how much you wish to send or receive, and confirm the transaction in question once you receive a notification.
MetaMask is a decentralized and open-source web wallet that propels Ethereum adoption by enabling users to send and receive transactions in a safe and fast way. Due to its design, setting up MetaMask is an incredibly effortless job that is done in minutes. Combined with an equally simple user interface that is intuitive and self-explainable, MetaMask does a great job of onboarding new users and DeFi newbies at a rapid rate.
There are some concerns about MetaMask’s safety. It is important to point out that the extension stores private keys locally on your web browser and that it is constantly connected to the internet. Hence, hackers theoretically have an easier time grabbing your keys compared to other software wallets and especially in comparison to hardware wallets.
After all is said and done, the only real factor that determines MetaMask’s safety is the user’s level of diligence. If one carelessly uses crypto wallets, he will encounter high risk not only with MetaMask but with all other wallets.
If you are confident in your level of conscientiousness, then we safely recommend you to try out MetaMask. Once you’re done learning how to use MetaMask, you could explore the vast DeFi space by checking out NFT markets, decentralized exchanges, and numerous blockchain arcades.
About The Author:
The Shrimpy Team
The Shrimpy Team is comprised of highly experienced content writers who analyze and research the latest market trends, delivering content suitable for both beginner and veteran crypto investors.