Metamask: what can the crypto wallet do?

The browser add-on Metamask is more than a crypto wallet for Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens. In addition to buying and storing tokens, the Metamask wallet offers access to decentralized exchanges. Here you can read everything you need to know about Metamask.

Anyone who buys crypto currencies and does not want to leave them lying on the relevant marketplace needs a so-called wallet for storage. This can either come in the form of a memory with an Internet connection (hot wallet) or as an offline storage option.

Metamask has made a name for itself as a secure and open source crypto wallet in the past five years since its launch in 2016. The Hot Wallet specializes in Ethereum and Ethereum-based tokens (ERC-20), but offers a lot more than just storing tokens.

Wallet users can use it to stake their crypto tokens or access decentralized exchanges (DEX) such as Uniswap or Kucoin, Dapps and NFT. Metamask is based on JavaScript. The Labamoat tool set is intended to provide more security. A standard privacy mode should also prevent information such as the Ethereum address from being passed on while surfing.

Our mission is to democratize access to the decentralized web, thereby transforming the internet and the global economy to empower individuals through interactions based on consent, privacy and free association. (Excerpt from the Metamask mission)

How do I install Metamask?

If you want to use Metamask, you can use the wallet as an add-on for the Firefox, Chrome, Brave and Edge browsers to install. The corresponding metamask extensions can be found in the add-on areas of the respective browser. The metamask extension can then be added to the desired browser. The application can then be called up via a small fox symbol in the upper right corner of the browser.

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Users can log in there and either integrate an existing wallet or create a new one. In addition, it is then possible to connect to decentralized applications. On Metamask-compatible websites such as Uniswap, the browser extension should be easy to add when prompted to “Connect to a wallet”.

The Metamask wallet is also available as a mobile version

In autumn 2020, the developers at Consenssys Software Inc., which is behind Metamask, also released the wallet as an app for Android and iOS. The mobile version has its own browser integrated, which takes users to the desired decentralized applications or enables tokens to be bought or exchanged at the touch of a finger.

The number of monthly active users is said to have risen to over five million in the past few months. The one million mark was broken for the first time in October 2020. More than a billion US dollars are said to have been transferred via the wallet.

Is Metamask Reliable and Safe?

The makers of the Metamask wallet are committed to paying particular attention to the privacy of their users. As mentioned above, the hot wallet is programmed in such a way that cyber attacks can be fended off and sensitive information is safe from data collectors. The application itself has no access to the personal data of the users.

Of course, users are also largely responsible for the security of their tokens and information themselves. For the pure custody of cryptocurrencies, Metamask also offers the option of connecting a hardware wallet such as Trezor or Ledger.

Metamask has not yet been affected by a major hack. But: It was only in May that a phishing bot tried to trick unsuspecting users into revealing their seed phrase on a fake support page. The cyber attackers could then have used this to take control of the wallet of the Metamask users.

How high are the costs?

The use of the wallet itself is free of charge. However, anyone who purchases ether or other cryptocurrencies or tokens and sends them to their metamask wallet has to be prepared for various fees. The wallet fee is between 0.3 and 0.875 percent of the transaction volume.

In addition, there is the so-called gas fee for the transaction via the Ethereum blockchain. These can sometimes be very high. Users have the option to cut costs when they engage in slow transaction processing. Custom fees are also possible, but should only be set by experienced users. Anyone who buys tokens via a crypto exchange such as Coinbase also pays a certain fee here.

Conclusion on the Metamask wallet

The Metamask wallet is a powerful and comparatively secure application that is available both as a browser extension and as a mobile app. However, the wallet offers many other functions such as the connection to decentralized applications. It is popular with users and the experiences with the Metamask wallet are predominantly positive.

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