Cryptocurrency has reached its peak of popularity in the last couple of years. This and the decentralized apps (dapps) are the foundation of our current decentralized internet. To use these foundations, you will need a specific user interface. The more intuitive and exciting the user interface is, the easier it is to use.
One user interface used is crypto wallets that play a role as the main gateways to Web3, decentralized finance (DeFi), and NFTs’ world. Plenty of crypto wallets are available, one of which is Metamask. However, before diving into this crypto wallet, let’s first learn what is Metamask.
Metamask is a plugin for a browser that works as a wallet for Ethereum, a type of cryptocurrency. It is installed just like any other browser plugin. With this plugin, users can store their Ethereum or other ERC-20 tokens. This way, they can perform a transaction using their Ethereum address.
Users can connect Metamask to an application based on Ethereum, where users can then use their tokens to play games, stake tokens in gambling apps, or perform trading on decentralized exchanges (DEX). With this plugin, users can also get into the DeFi world and access its apps, such as Compound and PoolTogether.
For beginners, Metamask may seem like a complicated concept. However, we already know what is Metamask, so now we have an idea of the concept of this interface. The next thing to do is learn how to start using this wallet.
Metamask is actually one of the more straightforward Ethereum wallets and dapp browsers. The installation process takes a couple of minutes before you can start using it. You only need Chrome or a Chromium-based browser such as Firefox or Brave.
To start, you need to download and install the official Metamask plugin for your chosen browser. For example, Google Chrome extension or Firefox addon. Once installed, you can create your Ethereum wallet using this plugin.
Once you created your wallet, you will be automatically logged in and see what features you have in there. You can access your assets list or view your transaction history. This wallet is highly user-friendly since everything is clearly labeled, and you need to follow the instructions provided to perform any transaction.
As mentioned previously, you can also use Metamask to connect with a dapp or smart contract. Find a button that says ‘Connect to Wallet’ on the platform, and then follow the instructions. When you are connected to dapp, you can interact with it and use the app’s features.
Just like any other technology and innovation, Metamask also has its own advantages and disadvantages. Now that you have already learned what is Metamask and how to start using it, the next thing we need to understand is its advantages and disadvantages. This way, you can carefully decide on what you are going to do when you are using Metamask.
1. Easy to set up
You can probably guess from the previous part how easy it is to set up a Metamask plugin. All you need to have is an email address or mobile phone number. Once the plugin is installed, you will immediately have control of your funds.
Metamask is open-source and totally free. Therefore, you don’t need to spend any money to use this plugin. This makes Metamask a great option compared to other options that charge a considerable fee. Therefore, you can use this plugin as a starter if you are new to crypto wallets.
Additionally, it doesn’t charge exchange fees for coin purchasing or when you send money from person to person. If you want to convert crypto coins for cash or vice versa, no fee will be charged.
3. Compatible with various dapps
Another interesting benefit of this plugin is that it is compatible with almost every dapp available. Some of them include EtherDelta, Augur, CryptoKitties, Datawallet, and many more. Therefore, managing multiple currencies will be easier using this plugin.
Due to this capability, you can use the Metamask wallet to store Ether, tokens, and various other forms of crypto. You also do not need a centralized exchange just to manage multiple tokens like what you will need to do with Coinbase.
4. Users in complete control of their funds
With this plugin, users will have access to all their funds stored because they will not be held on an external server like other wallets. If users are worried about security, they can use a hardware wallet like Ledger Nano S, which stores private keys offline.
5. No need to download anything else
Users will be able to interact with Ethereum daps without having to install additional software. This plugin relies on remote nodes that are managed by other people but are controlled through the interface of Metamask. This method allows Metamask to keep lightweight and will not take a tool on your computer.
6. Easy to create your own wallet
Users will be able to create their own internal wallets. It is safe enough since their private keys will still be in the browser. Added with a strong password, they will be challenging to hack. This is why Metamask is safe both in private and public WiFi networks due to the encrypted connection.
1. Longer time to sync the blockchain
The common complaint mentioned by Metamask users is how it needs time to sync the blockchain. This leads to a longer waiting time before a transaction can be confirmed. This may lead to increased transaction fees in a case when there are sudden price hikes during the transfer process.
2. High gas prices
Ethereum networks use gas as a unit of computational power. This is important for transactions from an exchange. However, the price of gas fluctuates based on supply and demand. When more people use Metamask, there will be fewer miners, and the cost per transaction will increase. It can even go up higher than other similar services.
3. Security problems
Since users store their own keys and funds, there is concern that wallets can be vulnerable if unauthorized persons can access their devices. Another problem is that an attacker may be able to put a dangerous code on the website that calculates and transfers funds. When it happens, it will become a severe security issue.
From the description above, you know that Metamask is as convenient and secure as an Ethereum. So, are you ready to try this convenient wallet?