The Benefits of Using MetaMask

November 5th, 2020

The Benefits of Using MetaMask

A key tool for using decentralized web is a secure wallet that can hold ether and ERC-20 tokens and easily interact with decentralized apps, (or ‘Dapps’ for short), on the Ethereum network. After all, the advantage of ETH, unlike bitcoin, is that thanks to smart contracts it can provide a whole range of products and services, from online games to gambling, online data storage to unique collectables. That’s why the MetaMask browser plugin is so popular, hitting a million users of its Chrome extension in February 2020, as it sits within your internet browser, with the stand out benefit that it allows you to interact with websites that support Dapps and decentralized finance products (DeFi): “By connecting to Ethereum-based Dapps (using MetaMask), users can spend their coins in games, stake tokens in gambling applications and trade them on decentralized exchanges. It also provides users with an entry point into the emerging world of decentralized finance, or DeFi, providing a way to access DeFi apps such as Compound,” according to Decrypt. In simple technical terms the MetaMask browser extension injects the Ethereum web3 API into every compatible website, in turn allowing Dapps to connect to the blockchain.

The process for downloading and installing MetaMask is pretty straightforward. The first step is to head to metamask.io and visit the downloads page to select the extension suitable for your browser. It will ask for access to your browser, so make sure you are happy with the access requests, before going ahead. On the MetaMask intro screen select ‘Get Started’ where in true crypto security fashion you’ll be asked to create a unique seed phrase, or import an existing one, then click on ‘Create a Wallet’ before creating a password and agreeing to the Terms of Use. While your MetaMask wallet is highly secure, it also means if you lose your computer there’s no nifty trick to help you recover your wallet. So best practice is to write down your see phrase. In the app it will ask you to confirm the phrase, and in the next step simply click ‘All Done’.

Mobile MetaMask
In September ConsenSys, the team behind MetaMask launched a mobile version for iPhone and Android which takes the ease of the web browser extension to the next level: “The app offers all the stuff you’d expect from an Ethereum wallet—like trading tokens and managing your digital assets. But unlike standard wallets, you can also use MetaMask Mobile to browse Web3, discover new dApps and interact with them—from anywhere, anytime. You can take Web3 with you, wherever you go.”

Clearly the aim is to drive user adoption not just in the US but around the world with a wallet that can allow you to generate passwords and keys on your smartphone, whilst through its built in browser also enables you to browse the emerging decentralized internet and easily connect to Dapps. It also allows you to decide what information to share and what to keep private more easily.

To use the mobile app simply go to the App Store of Google Play for the Android version, to download the mobile app. Once installed, on opening the app will take you through account set up and wallet creation. It also neatly syncs with your web app if you alre already a MetaMask user, by generating a QR code in your browser version of MetaMask and then scanning it with your tablet or phone, it will automatically sync your activity and account with the mobile app. And as a report in Mashable found out, it has a neat new feature that allows you to buy ether using Apple pay or a debit card and put it to good use all while staying within the app: “For someone looking to interact with, say, a DeFi app, the ability to purchase ether directly in MetaMask and immediately put it to use removes a lot of unnecessary friction.”

Swaps
The most recent innovation from MetaMask, now enables its users to swap tokens from decentralized exchanges within their wallets in tune with the DeFi movement. What’s good about this new feature is that it automatically compares prices from multiple decentralized exchanges in order to find users the best possible price, as well as the most efficient cost of purchase route. This means MetaMask Firefox browser users can also be assured of less fees and reduced network congestion, when swapping DeFi tokens. As explained in a review in Decrypt: “MetaMask gets a quote from every DEX and aggregator in its system and users should get the best one. The list includes not just Totle and Uniswap, but also Airswap (the ConsenSys DEX that worked with MetaMask on the project), 0x API, 1inch.exchange, dex.ag, Kyber, Paraswap, Totle, and private market makers.”

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