What is Metamask?
Metamask is a tool that can reduce the intricate world of blockchain to three words, ease of access. While exploring the blockchain might be an easy task for a specialist, for the uninstructed eye could seem like a bunch of meaningless data. However, the users who wish only to make purchases and transactions on the ethereum blockchain and not explore the depths of the technology can use the Metamask wallet.
Merely put, Metamask is a plugin which serves as an interface for the ethereum blockchain that shows the user’s balance while helping them to make transactions, payments sign or execute smart contracts.
Regarding security, Metamask has a tool that identifies all the malicious sites which are phishing for private keys.
In this article, you will learn how to use Metamask as a token wallet, and we will explore its features, for creating accounts and export the private key.
How to Install and Create a Metamask Wallet
In the beginning, we have mentioned that Metamask is a plugin. In other words, it is an extension which can be installed in the computer’s browser. The plugin works for Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Brave.
To install the plugin, the user has to go to the official website of Metamask.
To download the extension, you have to select the suitable option for your browser. In this example, we will use the Chrome extension.
As a next step, the selection will take you to the Chrome app store. To continue, you have to select Add to Chrome and wait for the installation to complete.
Once is finished you will find this icon on the top menu of your Chrome browser. By clicking the icon you will be able to access your wallet anytime you want. Click it!
At first, you will find a warning which lets you know that every website you visit will detect the Metamask plugin. This does not mean that the sites will have access to the wallet, it only means that the web will be synchronized with the portfolio automatically. Anyway, to avoid any issues, we recommend to log out every time you stop using the cryptocurrency wallet.
To go to the next window, select Accept.
After you have read the terms and condition, and you have agreed with it, select Accept again.
As a next step, you have to create a secure password with which you will access your funds. The password will be saved only on the current version of the browser, not on its servers, so if you delete and re-install the Chrome, for instance, the plugin will let you access the account, but it will not display your funds. In that situation, you have to restore your wallet by using the 12-word seed phrase.
In case you wish to import a portfolio, you have to click on Import existing DEN; you can insert the 12 words and the new password.
As we have mentioned earlier, this generated phrase is not stored anywhere, so it is your essential duty to keep it safe. The best option is to write it down on a piece of paper or save it on external storage; Furthermore, you can save the words in a file by clicking Save seed words as a file; this will download a file with your recovery phrase.
As you can see, we have finished creating the wallet, and we and are ready to receive funds.
First Acquisitions With Metamask
First of all, let’s give a touch of customization to the wallet. For this we are going chose the name of the portfolio. In our case, we select the Account 1, and we will click on Edit to customize the name. We click on Save, and we finish.
Ok, now let get to the action. As we have mentioned earlier, Metamask is an Ethereum wallet, which means that you can store ether or any other token (ERC20) created on the Ethereum Network.
In the lower part you can see two sections:
The list of transactions with the Ethereum in the account;
Tokens- the list with the tokens that you own.
To start trading or to buy tokens you have to own some funds; therefore you need to receive ethereum on the wallet’s address. To get the address, you have to click on the three points that are next to the name of the account. This will show you the following menu.
So, to get the address of your wallet you need to select either Show QR code or Copy Address to Clipboard. Following this, you can use any ethereum vendor to receive your coins in the Metamask wallet.
Another way in which you can get ethereum is to receive it from Coinbase (the US Only) or by exchanging any other cryptocurrencies that you own via ShapeShift. For this example, we are going to use the Buy Option.
First, you have to choose the cryptocurrency of origin. To change it, you must write the ticker of the currency, in this case, BTC and select Submit.
Following this, you will generate an address where you have to deposit the cryptocurrency; that way the ShapeShift takes care of the exchange and deposits the funds in the Metamask account.
Another exciting feature of Metamask is that it allows you to interact with Ethereum’s primary network and also with some of the test networks. To do this, you have to select the top icon Main Network.
Metamask supports a wide range of wallet addresses generated by the 12 seed words. Each time you restore your wallet the funds and the tokens will be displayed on the interface. Furthermore, you can import private keys from other Ethereum wallets, but it will not be associated with the initial 12 words. To generate or import a new wallet, you have to click on the icon highlighted in the red circle.
As you can see, the previous menu is displayed. If you want to create a new account, select Create Account and a new account will automatically be added to the list. In case you wish to import an account you must select Import Account, and you will have to insert the private key.
Metamask is an excellent tool which can be used on decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges (DEX) like Idex. To make transactions on the exchange you only have to visit the platform and connect your Metamask account to the exchange.
After you have synchronized the plugin with the crypto exchange, you will have the possibility to deposit the funds. After you have made the deposit, you can start trading freely.