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What is MetaMask?

What is MetaMask?

MetaMask is considered one of the popular cryptocurrency wallets in the DeFi segment and a direct competitor of Trust Wallet. It has more than 30 million users worldwide because of its support of numerous networks and tokens of various standards, user-friendly interface, and ease of use.

Full name of the company:  MetaMask

Foundation date: 2016

Founder: Aaron Davis (USA) and the ConsenSys blockchain company

Legal status: U.S. registration

Market geography: all countries


Product features

MetaMask is a cryptocurrency wallet designed as a browser extension. It belongs to the category of non-custodial products, which means that private keys and passwords are kept by the owner and are not transferred to third parties, even to the developers. Users have control over their own funds.

MetaMask is compatible with such browsers as Firefox, Google Chrome, Brave, and Microsoft Edge. In the first years after its launch, it supported only the Ethereum network and ERC-20 tokens. Such networks as Polygon, Binance Smart Chain, Arbitrum One, Harmony, EOS, Avalanche, Fantom, Moonriver, Optimistic Ethereum, Aurora Network, TomoChain, Celo, Cronos, and their cryptocurrencies, as well as BEP-20 and BEP-2 standard assets are available to users today.

Web wallet has a mobile version, which is installed on devices running on Android and iOS.

MetaMask operation - the crypto wallet features an exchange option and EIP-1559 protocol, making it possible to trade tokens inside the wallet via an aggregator of decentralized exchanges. This aggregator finds the best token cost and generates a transaction route. EIP-1559 protocol minimizes gas costs by selecting the most economical transaction route.

The wallet is free of limits and fees, whereby the charge depends on the selected network and the user's own preferences when a transaction is made. Moreover, owners are not required to deposit a minimum amount, and the developers do not impose restrictions.

All transactions and balances are stored in a blockchain, and private key holders can access them. The keys are encrypted and are stored on the user's device, who has full control over the cryptocurrency.

Transaction signing and blockchain sending processes are done on the user's PC, and the wallet itself can be synchronized with decentralized applications.

MetaMask installation is performed via the official product website if you want to download the web extension or via Google Play/AppStore to install the application on your mobile device.

To install the browser extension, follow the following steps:

  • go to https://metamask.io/;
  • press the Download button;
  • select the Install MetaMask for Chrome option;
  • the system switches you to the Google Chrome app store page;
  • activate the extension installation process;
  • wait for the product to fully load and open in a new browser tab;
  • select the Start work option.

Next, you need to create a password, which will be used in the future to log into the wallet. After accepting the terms of use, you can click Create.

The next step is to generate a secret phrase or private key. This obligatory procedure is required to restore the wallet in case of password loss or browser change. After confirming the secret phrase, you get access to the main MetaMask menu.

The wallet provides the Ethereum network by default, with options to buy, exchange, and send tokens by address available in the menu. The current assets and their quantity are displayed to you. 

The installation of a mobile cryptocurrency wallet, which you can find in the Google Play Store and AppStore, is done in the same way.

Connecting MetaMask to the Binance Smart Chain network allows you to conduct transactions with BEP-2 and BEP-20 tokens.  In the extension, select the Ethereum Mainnet drop-down list, which further selects the user's network with the main data (in this case, it is a BSC with address https://bsc-dataseed.binance.org/, BNB token, ID 56, and conductor address https://bscscan.com).

MetaMask's commission depends on the Ethereum network load at the time of the transaction. There is a fixed fee of 0.875% for swaps (cryptocurrency exchanges), and the gas fee can be as high as $40. You can switch to other networks to cut costs. You can also change the fee value: the higher the fee you specify, the faster the transaction will be completed.

MetaMask Swaps is a built-in DeFi service that allows you to exchange various virtual assets. Real-time data on quotes is collected on leading DEX exchanges, and then the best price offers are selected.


History

2016 – Aaron Davis, supported by blockchain company ConsenSys, created the MetaMask cryptocurrency wallet as a web app for such browsers like Firefox and Google Chrome.

2018 – developers launched a version of the product supporting Trezor hardware wallets, followed by the version supporting Ledger hardware wallets.

2019 – public beta-testing of the MetaMask mobile version was launched. However, something troublesome happened - Google Play removed cryptocurrency from its store, stating that it was forbidden to publish apps related to mining. Anyway, the incident was soon resolved, and the MetaMask mobile wallet returned to the list of available Google Play products.

The number of cryptocurrency wallet users reached 400 thousand people.

2020 – developers introduced new security and privacy protocols for the browser-based wallet extension. The official release of the MetaMask mobile version for Android and iOS devices took place.

MetaMask Swaps tool was added to the desktop extension, allowing the fast exchange of tokens in the Ethereum network.

The number of cryptocurrency wallet users reached 1 million people.

2022 – more than 30 million people use MetaMask cryptocurrency wallet. The mobile version gets Apple Pay support and gasless transactions.

A partnership with MoonPay service for purchasing NFTs and cryptocurrencies has started.

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