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MetaMask: A Beginner’s Guide to What It Is & How It Works


For those who are entering the blockchain industry, a suitable crypto-wallet software is essential in order to generate non-fungible tokens (NFTs), lend assets on a decentralized finance (DeFi) system, as well as to trade Ethereum-based tokens. Among the various wallet services available, MetaMask is by far the most popular.

What is MetaMask?

MetaMask is a browser extension that makes it easier to access Ethereum’s Dapp ecosystem. It functions as a crypto wallet for ERC-20 tokens, allowing users to access network-based services.

Designed by ConsenSys in 2016, it was initially only accessible as a desktop browser extension for Google Chrome and Firefox. Because of its popularity among bitcoin users,  multiple malicious softwares masquerading as MetaMask were released – which posed to be a challenge for Google in regulating its Chrome Web Store and Google Play platforms.

In 2019, MetaMask released closed beta versions of their mobile apps. This was followed by the public release of the iOS and Android versions in September 2020 – and the MetaMask Swaps service in October 2020.

According to Bloomberg, MetaMask’s browser extension had over 21 million monthly active users as of November 2021.

what is metamask

How MetaMask works

With MetaMask, users are able to store Ether and other ERC-20 tokens, which can later be used for transactions with any Ethereum address. They are able to spend coins in games, stake tokens in gambling apps, and make trades on decentralized exchanges by connecting to Ethereum-based Dapps. In addition, by using DeFi apps like Compound and PoolTogether, they can also become part of the decentralized finance market.

Through a suitable web/mobile app browser, users are capable of saving and managing account keys, broadcasting transactions, transferring and receiving Ethereum-based coins and tokens, as well as securely connecting to decentralized applications.

The software offers an integrated tool for exchanging Ethereum tokens at the cheapest rate – by aggregating numerous decentralized exchanges (DEXs). Known as MetaMask Swap, this feature comes with a service fee of 0.875 percent.

why uses metamask blockchain

Why use MetaMask?

MetaMask is designed to make the decentralized web more accessible to the general public – so that users may participate in the world of dapps with as little hassle as possible. A wide range of blockchain applications are securely connected to the crypto wallet – Aave, Axie Infinity, Gitcoin, Compound, Uniswap, Rarible, OpenSea, to name a few. In other words, it provides the entrance for newcomers/experienced investors alike to the blockchain world.

With MetaMask, users simply need one single plugin to access a large range of Dapps. No private keys are required – they only need to memorize a set of words, and transactions are signed on their behalf.

On top of that, users are not required to download the Ethereum blockchain – requests are delivered to nodes located outside of their computers. Because dapps are built to work with MetaMask, sending Ether in and out becomes considerably simpler.

There are other alternatives that you may try – such as Parity, MyEtherWallet and Mist browser. That said, Metemask remains the most universal option – mainly thanks to its open source and the fact that a supportive team is always there to help with any issues.

metamask blockchain

How to use MetaMask – Setting up guide

First, download and install the official extension/addon for your browser (Chrome, Firefox). After installation is finished, you should see the splash screen below. Click the ‘Get Started’ button to create your Ethereum wallet.

Metamask installation

Next, click the ‘Create a Wallet’ button.

Metamask installation

You’ll see a message that asks for your consent to personal data usage.

Metamask installation

Next, you will be asked to create a password.

Metamask installation

Read the Terms of Use, then click ‘Create’ to finish this step.

You will then be requested to choose a 12-word backup phrase – which will help recover your wallet in the event of losing access to your computer. Click ‘Next’ once you have made your choice.

Metamask installation

After that, enter the backup phrase again, and click ‘Confirm’.

Metamask installation

Click ‘All Done’ to get logged in to MetaMask. If you decide to log out, click the icon added to your web browser (which should be found next to the URL bar) to be logged in again.

Metamask installation

Now, you can view your list of assets in the ‘Assets’ tab – as well as your transaction history in the ‘Activity’ tab.

Making transactions is very straightforward – just enter the amount sent and the recipient address, choose a transaction fee, then click “Send”. On top of that, you can click the “Advanced Options” button to adjust the transaction fee.

Click ‘Next’, and you will now be presented with the choices of confirming/rejecting the transaction.

Metamask installation

Normally, you will need to find a ‘Connect to Wallet’ button to engage with a DApp or smart contract with MetaMask. After clicking this, a prompt should appear asking if you wish the DApp to be connected to your wallet.

Once it is finished, you’ll be able to interact with the DApps and use their features.

Metamask installation

Dapps automatically connect to MetaMask, simplifying the connection process. Within the Dapp, if payment is required, a pop-up window will appear asking to confirm the transaction from the account.

As Dapps are linked automatically to MetaMask, it makes the connection process become much easier. If payment is required, a pop-up window will appear within the Dapp, requesting you to confirm the transaction from your account.


And that concludes our overview of MetaMask and how to use it. If you are interested and would like to receive more updates, subscribe to JSLancer’s newsletter and follow us on social media now.

In addition, for those who are thinking about starting their own blockchain project, we are more than happy to help. Reach out to JSLancer for a free call on how we can work together now!

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A crypto wallet & gateway to blockchain apps | MetaMask. https://metamask.io/

What is MetaMask? | The Beginner’s Guide – Decrypt. https://decrypt.co/resources/metamask

What is MetaMask Wallet? How to Set up a MetaMask Wallet. https://www.coindesk.com/learn/how-to-set-up-a-metamask-wallet/

MetaMask. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MetaMask

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