Getting started with MetaMask: Everything you need to know
Once you jump into the emerging technology of cryptocurrencies, your journey will start with setting up a crypto wallet. However, since there are lots of crypto wallets to choose from, how will you pick one that could secure your digital assets? Well, one of the best options for you is the safe browser-based crypto wallet app, MetaMask!
If you’re looking for a storage facility for your digital currencies that is ledger-friendly and provides medium anonymity, the MetaMask wallet is worth a try. With a straightforward interface and promising features, you can manage your crypto transactions and access your balances conveniently.
Intrigued and curious about this crypto wallet? Then continue reading below to learn what is metamask and how to use it.
The history of MetaMask: How it started
In 2016, blockchain software technology company ConsenSys created MetaMask as a desktop browser extension for Firefox and Google Chrome browsers before it became available for smartphone users.
Shortly after its release, MetaMask rapidly grew in popularity among crypto investors and the demand for a mobile application version arose. However, this came with a few complications. Several malicious software posing as MetaMask prevented Google from properly regulating its platforms such as Google Play and Chrome Web Store. This, in turn, prompted Google to remove the official Beta application of MetaMask before bringing it back in January 2020.
In 2019, MetaMask started releasing mobile app versions for closed beta testing. The following year, they officially released a version compatible with iOS and Android devices.
Developers also launched a built-in DEX aggregation service that allows users to swap one token for another called MetaMask Swaps. It helps you find the best exchange rate, charging a service fee of 0.875% for each transaction.
In March 2021, the wallet became available on all mobile devices.
There’s no doubt that this crypto wallet has made great strides and improvements since its release. In fact, as of August 2021, ConsenSys announced that MetaMask has already garnered approximately 10,354,279 active users across the globe.
What is MetaMask?
Known to be a software cryptocurrency wallet, Metamask is an Ethereum web browser extension used to interact with the Ethereum blockchain. It enables investors to view and manage their Ethereum wallet using a mobile application or a browser extension, as well as interact with sites operating decentralised applications (dApps) and smart contracts.
By solely running a browser extension, you can now send and receive Ethereum-based cryptocurrencies and tokens, manage account keys and display your transactions. With this, users can do any Ethereum and DeFi-related activities without running multiple software applications at the same time.
For instance, if you want to stake your tokens for profit at Alchemix or visit OpenSea to look into newly launched non-fungible tokens (NFTs), all you have to do is connect your MetaMask wallet to start a transaction.
How does MetaMask work?
Advantages of MetaMask
Although MetaMask may seem complicated at first glance, using this crypto wallet is surprisingly trouble-free. It offers lots of features and components that are easy to be familiar with, especially if you’re a new crypto investor.
To get you started, here are the key benefits of MetaMask that you should know:
Great customer support
If you’re still not that closely familiar with crypto activities, especially storing and securing your digital assets, things can feel a bit overwhelming. However, with MetaMask, you will receive top-notch customer support to get you started without much trouble. Once you visit their website, there is a video introduction on its homepage and a section for frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Easy storage for crypto art and collectables
If you’re a huge fan of purchasing and collecting NFTs, the MetaMask crypto wallet app is your best bet. It allows you to use it as storage for your crypto-collectable and other non-fungible tokens that you purchase in Foundation, OpenSea and Rarible.
To start buying NFTs, just connect your MetaMask wallet. Once you successfully make a purchase, your NFTs will automatically be transferred to your account under the Collectibles tab. In this way, users can show their entire NFT collection to others and sell them directly from their smartphones.
Since MetaMask is open-source, its code is free and accessible to everyone online. Meaning to say, it can be updated and reviewed by the community, allowing them to tweak some changes and add more improvements. You can even build your version of it at home!
What makes MetaMask entirely different from other crypto wallets is that it has a straightforward interface. Its ease of navigation lets you access your balances in just a few taps since all of its functionalities are clearly mapped out on the screen. There are no hidden settings or complicated menus that would make your transactions complicated and lengthy.
As a crypto investor, it’s understandable that you might be worried that your hard-earned digital assets can be accessed or hacked. Luckily, MetaMask offers top-notch security to assure you that no one gets to manage your funds but you.
It uses strong seed phrases to keep your wallet secured and reset lost account information, preventing your account from getting in the wrong hands. MetaMask has also never suffered any major hacks in the previous years due to its HD backup settings.
However, since Metamask gives you 100% control over your account, you have to be extra careful. If you mistakenly hand over your seed phrase to someone else, you run the risk of losing your crypto investments forever. Moreover, if you become a victim of phishing attacks, you’d lose your MetaMask account.
Built-in coin purchasing
When it comes to using MetaMask, users have access to two exchanges where they can buy cryptocurrencies. This includes ShapeShift and Coinbase where you can purchase Ether or ERC-20 tokens.
Disadvantages of MetaMask
MetaMask has plenty of benefits that crypto users can take advantage of but it has its own share of shortcomings as well. Here are some of them:
It’s an online wallet
One of the disadvantages of MetaMask is it’s an online crypto wallet. This means that it’s prone to theft since the public and private keys are stored on the internet. While MetaMask offers tight security measures to protect your account, hackers are using more advanced methods to target victims and steal their assets.
So, every time you make a transaction, you should always use a secure internet connection and refrain from using public Wi-Fi networks. You can also use a VPN service to keep your browsing activity safe from cybercriminals.
In addition, keep your device updated with the latest anti-virus software. Use firewalls and ad blockers to avoid getting threatened with suspicious activities. Don’t let your guard down!
It doesn’t have a high level of anonymity
If you’re looking for a completely anonymous crypto wallet, MetaMask might not be the best choice. Although MetaMask offers a high level of security, it runs on the Ethereum blockchain which is known for having a pseudonymous nature. Meaning, another user knows your wallet address. Once they perform a scan on it, they will know about your transactions and their monetary values.
This isn’t to say that other users can access your funds or you become an easy target for criminals. It just means that your transactions are visible to the network.
Your browser can access your information
One of the main reasons why most crypto users feel discouraged to set up a MetaMask wallet is because it uses web browsers. Although MetaMask does not have any access to your information, the browser that you’re using such as Chrome or Firefox does.
This does not mean that your browser can access or view your private keys, but it can collect your data and track your internet activity. Hence, many crypto investors may feel doubtful and hesitant, especially when personal data is already involved.
How to install and use MetaMask: A step-by-step guide
One of the best things about MetaMask is that it’s easy to set up. In just a couple of minutes, you can now start trading tokens, exploring the Ethereum blockchain and collecting NFTs. Moreover, the web browser extension does not require you to pay any fees for installation, so you can begin right away with a few clicks.
Follow this step-by-step guide to help you get started:
Step 1: Install MetaMask on your browser
To open a MetaMask wallet, you need a web browser first such as Brave, Firefox and Google Chrome. Depending on your browser, the installation process may vary.
For Google Chrome
- Go to metamask.io.
- Click on the download button.
- Click on the ‘Install MetaMask for Chrome’ button. Once done, you will be directed to the Chrome Web Store.
- Click ‘Add to Chrome’.
- Click ‘Add Extension’ once the pop-up appears on the screen.
- Visit metamask.io.
- Click the download button.
- Once done, scroll down to the bottom until you see the Brave icon.
- Click the Brave icon.
- Click the ‘Add to Brave’ button once the Chrome stores open on your screen.
- In the pop-up, click ‘Add Extension’.
- Visit metamask.io.
- Click the download button.
- Scroll down to find the Firefox button and click on it.
- In the new window that pops up, click the ‘Add to Firefox’ button.
- Click the ‘Add’ button on the pop-up.
Step 2: Create an account
Once you have successfully installed MetaMask into your browser, it’s time for you to create an account. On the upper right corner of your browser, click on the extension icon to open MetaMask.
Step 3: Back up your seed phrase
After creating your password, you should back up your 12-word seed phrase immediately! Keep in mind that MetaMask is a non-custodial service. Meaning to say, not even the MetaMask team can access your digital asset funds.
Your tokens are stored in an encrypted vault in your browser that is protected by your password. If your electronic device gets stolen, hacked or destroyed, it becomes virtually impossible for you to recover your account.
So, it is highly recommended that you should write down your backup phrase. This is the best way to restore your account in case something unexpected happens with your account. Store them in various locations so other people can’t snoop on your MetaMask activities.
To prove that you’ve recorded your seed phrase correctly, the system will ask you to click on your seed phrase’s words in the right order. Click the ‘Confirm’ button to start your transactions.
Backing up and restoring your wallet using your 12-word seed phrase
Using your seed phrase, it’s possible to connect your MetaMask wallet again if you want to change your computer or web browser. Take note of the following instructions:
- To get started, click on the account icon.
- Open settings.
- Look for the ‘Reveal Seed Words’ button and click on it.
- Input your password.
- To start the restoring process, open MetaMask and click on the ‘Import’ button using your account’s seed phrase.
- Enter your seed phrase and think of a strong password.
- Press the ‘Restore’ button.
Step 4: Deposit cryptocurrencies
To deposit cryptocurrencies, copy your wallet’s address by clicking on it. After that, send some Ether tokens to that wallet from a crypto exchange site. However, if you still haven’t bought ETH, click on the ‘Buy’ button to access MetaMask’s built-in exchange for an easy deposit.
Once your funds have been successfully deposited, you will see your account balance in the lower-left portion of the wallet. If your ETH has not been credited to your account yet, it might take some time to arrive depending on Ethereum’s amount of traffic.
Step 5: Send cryptocurrency
If you decide to send cryptocurrencies to another user, just click on the ‘Send’ button found in the main panel of MetaMask. Then, enter the total amount of ETH tokens you want to transfer and the amount of transaction fee you’d like to pay.
Metamask sets a fee by default. However, if you want your transaction to be processed faster, you need to pay a higher fee. To finalise your transaction, click the ‘Confirm’ button. You can also check its status under the Activity panel to confirm if it has been processed.
MetaMask tips and tricks you should know
Apart from a high level of security, straightforward interface and easy access to decentralised applications, users can also benefit from a couple of tips and tricks to maximise MetaMask’s features. With your MetaMask wallet all set up, try some of Bitcasino’s tips and tricks to make the most of your digital assets! Check them out below:
Add custom tokens
MetaMask allows its users to add custom tokens by simply inputting the contact address of the token. You can use Etherscan so you can obtain its address. Don’t forget to fill in the token symbol and the decimal section to proceed.
Customise gas fee
If you want to fast-track your transactions, you can customise the Ethereum gas fee found in the Edit tab. However, if you’re uncertain about the correct gas price needed for your transactions, visit Etherscan.io so you can set your gas price and gas limit accordingly.
Cancel your transactions
MetaMask lets its users cancel their transactions for as long as it is still pending and waiting for confirmation in the Ethereum network. To slow down the transaction speed, users have the option to increase the cancellation window by editing the transaction fee.
There are three methods you can use to successfully cancel a transaction:
Method 1: In-app cancellation
To cancel a transaction, simply click on the ‘Cancel’ button. Just always remember that it can only be attempted if it is still pending!
Method 2: Reset your wallet
Before you try this cancellation method, make sure that you verify in a block explorer first to check if there are any pending transactions. If no transaction is displayed on the explorer, your MetaMask queue might be on hold. You can try resetting your wallet to solve the issue.
Method 3: Custom nonce
In the advanced settings of your Metamask wallet, enable custom nonce. Then, try sending a new transaction to yourself using your MetaMask public address. Set the custom nonce to the last transaction nonce that is still pending on the network.
Connect with other networks
Another trick that you should keep in mind when using MetaMask is that you can connect your wallet with various networks. All you have to do is set up custom RPC and give important details so you can add other networks to your network list.
Link hardware wallets
Since hardware wallets are stored offline, it is considered to be the safest option in storing your cryptocurrencies. What makes MetaMask different from other different kinds of crypto wallets is that you can connect it with a hardware wallet such as Ledger or Trezor. This is especially important when you have a large amount of ETH tokens in your account to keep your funds protected at all times.
Exploring the Ethereum blockchain with MetaMask
Aside from using MetaMask to trade and store your digital assets, this crypto wallet makes it a lot easier for you to interact with Ethereum dApps. These are the following dApps that you can explore using your MetaMask wallet:
Developed by Canadian studio Dapper Labs, CryptoKitties is a blockchain game within the Ethereum network. This game is considered to be one of the earliest attempts to utilise blockchain technology for gaming and leisure. Shortly after its launch, it increased the traffic and the pending transactions within the Ethereum blockchain.
In the game, players are allowed to collect, breed, buy and sell virtual cats. Every CryptoKitty is a non-fungible token (NFT) which means that they are unique and validated through the blockchain. This also means that a CryptoKitty’s value will depend on the state of the market.
Using your MetaMask wallet, you’re now all set to join the CryptoKitties hype. Create your own cute Cryptokitty and sell them to earn some profit!
As cryptocurrency continuously enters the mainstream scene, the NFT crypto art market where people can sell collectables is getting bigger. Thanks to blockchain technology, artists can now produce works of art that are impossible to replicate.
NFTs can also be used for domain names, ownership records and digital items, among other things. Consequently, you are allowed to establish or determine the value of your art.
With a MetaMask wallet, you can look for the most unique pieces of art with just a click. For instance, you can visit OpenSea, one of the biggest peer-to-peer marketplaces for NFTs and rare digital items. Just like a physical painting, you can give them as a gift for a friend or sell them at an online auction.
If you are into esports, you can also look into esports NFT trading cards as a form of investing.
Frequently asked questions about MetaMask
To fully help you understand and be familiar with the ins and outs of this crypto wallet, Bitcasino provides you with the most frequently asked questions about MetaMask. Here are some of them:
Does MetaMask have fees?
Yes, it does. To start transactions using MetaMask, you need a small amount of Ethereum. These transaction fees will depend on the network you’re using. For instance, if you use a network like Ethereum chain, the fees will be different from Binance Smart Chain.
Remember that you should always be mindful of these fees so your funds don’t unexpectedly run out! Some users have failed to follow this advice and ended up paying US$40 just to send US$10 worth of ETH to another account. To avoid this, double-check the required transaction fee before processing any transactions.
How do I use the same wallet for my Metamask mobile application?
To use your MetaMask wallet in your mobile app, all you have to do is use the MetaMask Mobile Sync feature. Here are the steps you need to follow:
- Install the MetaMask mobile application at MetaMask.io.
- Using the mobile app, select ‘Sync or Import’.
- Click ‘Scan QR Code’ to proceed.
- Once done, log into your MetaMask extension.
- Open the settings. To view the QR code, select ‘Advanced’ then ‘Sync with Mobile’.
- Scan the QR code using your app.
Do I have to deposit cryptocurrencies first before I can use my account?
You don’t need to deposit funds right away to use your account. Even if you have zero balance, you can still accept signature requests from other sites. However, when you start depositing digital currencies such as ETH and ERC-20, you can play games, purchase collectables, trade and invest.
When I was swapping tokens, the process failed. Why did that happen?
During these circumstances, it’s likely that your transaction runs out of gas. This means that the allocated gas for a certain transaction has already been used up before the swap could be completed. To avoid this kind of failure, always make sure that you follow the Network Fee amount recommended by MetaMask.
However, this does not mean that you’d lose your funds if a swap fails. The digital asset that you wanted to swap will still be safe and secure in your account, but a portion of the gas fees will be consumed by the network.
If the process fails multiple times, you should contact MetaMask’s support team right away.
What should I do if I forgot/lost my password?
If you forgot or lost your password, you can recover your account using the seed phrase given to you by MetaMask to create a new password.
MetaMask: Bitcasino’s most trusted crypto wallet
As one of the world’s leading non-custodial crypto wallets, MetaMask has opened a lot of doors in the crypto sphere, especially in investing and the Ethereum blockchain.
With MetaMask, you now have complete control over your finances by allowing you to hold your private keys. Users don’t just have the ability to trade and invest in cryptocurrencies but explore various decentralised applications as well, making things more accessible to a wider audience.
So, if you’re looking for a top-notch crypto wallet to pair with your Bitcasino account, MetaMask is the best choice. Sign up now and start playing your favourite casino games here at Bitcasino!
Words by: Rachelle Bulalacao