Metamask | An In-Browser Ethereum Wallet

Cryptocurrency wallets are often large and require a lot of downloading and synchronizing with the blockchain they interact with. With Metamask, you are treated to a fast, easy to use and convenient alternative to downloadable wallets. 

Getting Metamask is simple and setting it up doesn't take long at all. It is available for Chrome, Firefox, iOS, and Android at the Metamask website.   


Once you've downloaded it and added it to your browser, a new tab will open up. This is where you will set up your account by clicking on the "Create a Wallet" button. Once you've done that, you will need to create a password. 

This password will grant you access to the wallet on your current computer, as the wallet is specific to that computer. The next screen is the most important one and it is important that you read and understand it carefully. The "Secret Backup Phrase" grants you access to the default address created with the wallet and forgetting this means that any funds held on it will be inaccessible. I like to write this phrase down in a notebook,  and lock it away in a lockable set of drawers. 

The next page is a test as to whether you followed the instructions on the previous page. You will have to drag each word featured in your phrase, in order, into the input field box. Once completed, you should see the little fox icon beside your browser extensions area.  




Clicking on the Metamask button opens up the application. By default, it opens in a minimal view, but you can expand it by clicking on the three vertical dots and selecting "Expand view". 




With the application open, you will see a few buttons and your available balance. The default currency is Ethereum, but you can add custom tokens to your assets if you know the contract address. 

The most important part of this screen, after the balance, of course, is the number under your account name. In the picture, you will notice the alphanumerical address starting with "0x677A..", this is my public wallet address which is used for receiving Ethereum or any other token created on the Ethereum network. You can copy this address either by click left-clicking it, this will copy it to your clipboard or by clicking the three vertical dots and selecting "Account details".




Connecting your wallet to a Web3 site

One of the coolest things about Metamask is the ability to connect it to a website that allows direct interaction with your wallet. One of the more popular websites that allow you to do this, is Uniswap. Uniswap is, simply put, a decentralised swapping website for tokens. Funds are transferred from your wallet to the exchange and swapped with the token you desire. More info on the functionality of Uniswap can be found on the EthHub doc website.  

Getting back to the Web3 interaction, every website with this function will be connectable in the same way. A big button saying "Connect wallet" is the usual convention. I will use Uniswap as an example. Head over to Uniswaps swap website and click on the "Connect to a wallet" button. 




Once you've done that you will need to grant permission to Uniswap. It is important to only allow websites that you trust to connect to your wallet, as some websites may contain malicious code that can steal your assets! 



Now that Uniswap is connected to Metamask you will see that the LED light beside the "Connected" label is now a friendly green colour. Clicking on the green LED will allow you to change permissions, and disconnect, to any websites connected to Metamask.




The beauty of connecting to these websites is that you do not have to copy and paste your wallet address every time you want to make a transaction. So, not only does it make trading more efficient, but it also makes it less prone to error, such as pasting in the wrong address, which is every cryptocurrency users' nightmare. 

Metamask is a must-have for anyone who is looking to get into cryptocurrency and is in need of an Ethereum wallet, as its ease of use and the low learning curve is second to none. 

Connor

Statement: Nothing to disclose

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