The Beginner’s Guide to Using MetaMask
The first step to becoming a crypto investor or trader is finding the perfect e-wallet. You shouldn’t settle for any random wallet offered to you and you don’t have to master complex ones designed for software developers. What you need is a free wallet with user-friendly features and a large potential for being your long-term companion in interacting with the Ethereum network. That wallet is MetaMask and here’s your guide on how to use it:
What MetaMask is designed to do
The first step to learning how to use a platform is understanding what it does. MetaMask is a wallet designed to make the Ethereum network more accessible to all kinds of users. Normally, users need to know how to string together commands through coding. It’s a long but ultimately flexible process that can be tedious to learn. MetaMask simplifies those commands into button prompts for a quicker and reliable action.
Getting started with MetaMask
Getting started with MetaMask is as simple as creating a social media account. All you have to do is follow the instructions given by the main MetaMask website. Instructions will vary depending on where you wish to install it, either a web browser or a mobile device.
The web browser extension is only available for Google Chrome, Firefox, and Chromium-based browsers like Brave or Explorer Edge. You can get it on the Chrome Web Store. Just click ‘Add to Chrome’ then ‘Add Extension’. As for mobile devices, you can get it on the Google Play Store for Android and App Store on iOS.
Once installed, you can use its interface for free. What you should know is that MetMask is not a wallet as soon as it is launched. You have to make your wallet by clicking ‘Get Started’ which asks you to either import or create a new wallet. Creating a new wallet will prompt you to make a password with a minimum of 8 characters.
MetaMask, then, generates a recovery phrase exclusive to the new wallet. Only you should know it. Not even MetaMask developers should know your recovery phrase as it is your skeleton key to recovering all crypto and private keys stored in this wallet. Write it down on a piece of paper or notepad that only you can access in the future.
You will then have to confirm the recovery phrase on the next page. After that, you are free to use the wallet’s features to interact with Ethereum and Web 3.0 websites.
MetaMask is a non-custodial wallet so opening your account on a different device won’t bring over your wallet. To do that, you have to use the other option ‘Import Wallet’. Just write down your recovery phrase. Likewise, you may also use recovery phrases from other wallets. The best use of this feature is pairing MetaMask with a hardware wallet for maximum security.
Since you are just getting started with MetaMask, you should know that its services are exclusive to the Ethereum network only. It can only store and send ERC-20 tokens or Ether (ETH). There are services on the network that will help it store Bitcoin but it has to be wrapped into WBTC instead of BTC.
That is all you need to know about getting started with MetaMask. You are free to send Ethereum-based tokens by getting the recipient’s wallet address or scanning their QR code. Likewise, you can receive crypto transfers by giving the sender your wallet address. MetaMask is linked to online exchanges like ShapeShift or Coinbase. If you want to fully enjoy Ethereum’s decentralized ecosystem, then it’s better to go to decentralized exchanges like UniSwap.