MetaMask is a functional utility that was developed as both a wallet and a browser for the Ethereum cryptocurrency. It has a Chrome plugin so that you can easily access your Ether. It has all the functions that one would expect to find in a standard Ethereum wallet, but adds in other useful features. The user of MetaMask can use Dapps and Smart Contracts without having to download the Ethereum client or other blockchain software.
What is MetaMask?
People are always looking for ways to simplify access to their cryptocurrency wallets. This is a primary goal of MetaMask, the browser tool that integrates with the Ethereum cryptocurrency. Ethereum is arguably the second-most popular cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin. The platform has a number of features that make it attractive such as a number of apps and the ability to create what are known as Smart Contracts.
MetaMask is a tool that strives to give users access to all the bells and whistles of Ethereum, from coin access to apps and Smart Contracts. It is designed for the serious Ethereum enthusiast. While there are many ways to store Ether or other ERC-20 tokens that are built on the Ethereum platform, MetaMask is unique in that it grants interaction with what Ethereum refers to as Dapps. Dapps are applications that exist in part on a blockchain. There are online games, casino apps, and apps that help individuals lend Ethereum to others.
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MetaMask is essentially a plug-in for web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. It can be installed as an add-on to these browsers in a matter of minutes, and using the plug-in is very easy. After the plug-in is set up the user has access to an Ethereum wallet, Dapps, and test networks for developers. Any token that has been created on the ERC-20 platform can be ultimately integrated with MetaMask. This adds the ability to scale to the plug-in. It can grow as Ethereum grows.
What About MetaMask Safety?
Right away the savvy investor in cryptocurrency will point out that the existence of MetaMask as a browser-based tool could introduce security vulnerabilities. After all, browsers get hacked all the time. Cryptocurrency wallets are also a frequent target of hackers and data thieves. So, is MetaMask a safe application to use?
The answer is murky. On the one hand MetaMask has proven itself to be secure enough with no reported hacks of a serious nature. On the other hand it is a browser tool, and that means an unsuspecting users could be subjected to phishing and other hacking scams. You should exercise the same caution when using MetaMask that you use when doing anything online.
In its favor is something called a Den. These Dens are where MetaMask stores local keys and keeps them encrypted. This would prevent exploits or harmful Dapps from gaining access to a user’s Ethereum wallet.
We’ll say that MetaMask is still too young to fully analyze the range of security vulnerabilities it might present. As time goes by there will be attempts to hack the platform, and the developers will also add additional security measures. As these things happen, a more complete picture of the MetaMask platform will begin to emerge. There is nothing wrong with taking a wait-and-see approach to MetaMask in the meantime.
MetaMask can be installed on a browser in a matter of minutes in a few simple steps. This is the procedure to follow:
- Visit the Chrome Webstore or the plug-in section of your preferred browser. We’ll use Chrome as our example.
- Click on Add To Chrome when the browser extension is located. This will launch the process that adds MetaMask to the Chrome browser.
- Click Add Extension to confirm that you want MetaMask to be added, and the extension will be added to your Chrome browser.
- The log for MetaMask is a fox. You should now see the fox in the upper right corner of your web browser.
That’s all there is to it. The process is similar on other browsers like Firefox and Opera. Once you have the extension installed there are many things you can do with MetaMask.
What Can You Do With MetaMask?
You can accomplish several task with MetaMask. The first thing most users do is create an Ethereum wallet. Creating a crypto wallet is as simple as clicking on the little Fox icon. Once you have done this a small screen will pop up asking you if you want to create a new vault. Just follow the prompts and you will soon have a secure place to store your Ether.
Many altcoins today are being created on the ERC-20 platform. This means that your wallet will integrate with most of them. So, it is possible to use MetaMask to store many different types of cryptocurrency tokens. MetaMask is very user-friendly and will guide you through the entire process.
You can also begin to explore Dapps that are created on the Ethereum blockchain. At the present time the majority of the apps are for gaming or development. You can use at least one Dapp to become your own banker and lend others Ethereum. Maybe you will become a great cryptocurrency financier!
Those who are seriously interested in pursuing Ethereum as a long-term investment would do well to consider the benefits of MetaMask. It doesn’t take long to master, and it sort of gives you a command center where you can manage all types of Ethereum functions. Explore Crypto Swede for more great content!