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What is MetaMask and How To Use It?

MetaMask describes itself as a crypto wallet and a gateway to blockchain applications. It is simply a web browser extension that is designed for accessing decentralized applications or (Dapp’s) on Ethereum. It also provides its users a crypto wallet to store ERC-20 tokens (tokens on the the Ethereum blockchain) to access different services on the Ethereum network.

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MetaMask Key Notes

  • MetaMask is a web browser extension or plugin that provides its uses an Ethereum and ERC-20 compatible wallet.
  • Users of MetaMask can hold Ethereum (ETH) and many other ERC-20 tokens in their wallet.
  • The MetaMask wallet can be used to interface with Decentralized applications (dapps).
  • MetaMask wallet holders can generally authenticate into the dapps with their MetaMask wallet and can purchase items such as NFTs or services via the funds in the wallet
  • Items can be sent to the MetaMask wallet through the wallet address via the dapp, such as NFTs or tokens for example if you were selling an item.
  • Users of MetaMask can swap ERC-20 compatible tokens for other ERC-20 tokens within the application.
  • All pending and confirmed transactions can be verified on the Ethereum blockchain from MetaMask via Etherscan.

MetaMask History

MetaMask was developed in 2016 by ConsenSys, a blockchain software technology company that was founded by the Ethereum cofounder Joseph Lubin and focuses on Ethereum based tools and infrastructure. Today there are many different wallet services available, however MetaMask remains by far the most popular with over 21 million monthly active users, which is up 38 times since 2020.

MetaMask allows its users to interact with over 3,600 different decentralized applications and Web3 (a decentralized online ecosystem based on the blockchain) services. Once the application is installed and configured, users of MetaMask can connect to these apps and services including the OpenSea NFT marketplace, Uniswap decentralized exchange and PoolTogether.

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MetaMask is now compatible with the Chrome browser, other chromium-based browsers such as Brave and Firefox. It has also released mobile based applications for iOS and Android. Installing and configuring the MetaMask extension is relatively easy, we have setup a guide you can follow here if you want to get started today.

How to Use MetaMask:

To install and configure MetaMask please go to our Guided tutorial here.

You can open MetaMask by clicking the MetaMask Icon in the top right extension section of the web browser you installed it too. Initially you will notice there are 2 tabs in the MetaMask console when it opens up.

Assets – This will show you your available tokens you hold within the Metamask wallet. You can transfer Ethereum or ERC-20 tokens to your new wallet and they will appear here.
Activity – This allows you to view all of your activity or history within MetaMask including sending and receiving transactions.

You can also click the Account (layered square button next to account) at the top of the console to copy your Metamask wallet address. This is useful for several reasons including being able to paste this address in for receiving funds from other wallets and more.

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You can easily send funds by clicking on one of your assets and then clicking the “Send” button. You will only then need to add the recipient address you want to send the token/s too and agree to the transaction or “gas fee” associated.

In order to use MetaMask to interact with a decentralized application (dapp) or smart contract, you typically go that dapp’s website and look for the “Connect a Wallet” button. Sometimes the wording of the button will be similar like “connect your metamask”. When you choose this button, you will be asked to confirm that you want to allow that application to interact with MetaMask, if you allow it you are now connected and ready to interact with the application or contract.


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