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MetaMask is one of the most popular Ethereum wallets in the world. The decentralized crypto wallet lets users store, send, and stake cryptos via a single app.
If you are new to crypto, this guide will help you set up your MetaMask wallet, as well as offer tips and tricks on how to secure it, use its special features, and more.
You can set up a MetaMask wallet on your computer/laptop or smartphone.
MetaMask is supported on the following browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Brave, Edge, and Opera. MetaMask is not supported on Safari. Macbook users will have to download one of the five browsers mentioned above.
MetaMask will be downloaded as an extension on your browser. Here are the steps to install it:
Once the browser extension download is completed, you will be taken to a MetaMask wallet setup page.
You will need to install MetaMask on your Android or iPhone from Google Play and App Store, respectively.
Once you’ve downloaded the app, follow the same steps mentioned above to set up your MetaMask wallet on your phone.
You can even set up a passcode and face authentication lock to secure your mobile wallet app.
Secret recovery phrases (SRP) are an important security layer that gives you access to your crypto wallet. Most crypto wallets use 12-word SRP and 24-word SRP.
Unlike your Facebook or Instagram account, you cannot reset your password by simple means of email or mobile authentication. MetaMask cannot help you recover your password in case you lose or forget your wallet password.
This is where SRP comes in handy. Users require their SRP to set up a new password, restore wallets, and validate ownership. As long as you have your SRP, you can always uninstall your MetaMask wallet from any device and restore it on another device.
You must secure your SRP. If someone knows the SRP in your wallet, they will have complete access to the cryptocurrencies and NFTs held in that wallet.
Each wallet address has a private key. A private key is uniquely associated with each wallet. It is used to compute a digital signature that verifies the ownership of the wallet and funds held in it during a transaction.
Like the SRP, crypto wallet users must ensure that their private keys are secure and remain a secret.
Although you will not be interacting with private keys directly, it is essential to learn about them. You can find the private keys to your MetaMask wallet under Settings > Security & Privacy > Show Private keys.
Just like the SRP, anyone with your private keys will have full access to your wallet and its funds.
You can use private keys to import any crypto wallet account to your MetaMask wallet.
An important point for all crypto wallet users is that you are the sole custodian of your wallet.
When you use a non-custodial wallet like MetaMask, you alone are responsible for securing your crypto assets held in your wallet. If your wallet gets hacked, recovering your funds will be incredibly difficult.
Remember, MetaMask representatives will never ask for your SRP in any scenario.
Here are some important information on how to use a MetaMask wallet.
Your crypto wallet is the gateway to the crypto world. You can use various EVM-compatible blockchain networks from your wallet.
MetaMask sets the ethereum mainnet as its default blockchain. You can choose between various EVM-compatible blockchains, layer-two blockchains, and test networks, including Polygon, BNB Chain, Avalanche C-Chain, Optimism, Arbitrium, and more.
You cannot use the Bitcoin blockchain from your MetaMask wallet or access other non-EVM-compatible blockchains, such as Solana and Cardano.
Therefore, you cannot hold BTC, SOL, or ADA on a MetaMask wallet.
If you want to hold BTC on your MetaMask wallet, you must buy a wrapped bitcoin, an EVM-compliant token representing BTC on an EVM chain.
You will need your wallet address to send crypto tokens to your MetaMask wallet.
Make sure that you send only tokens that exist natively on EVM-compatible chains to your wallet address.
Your tokens will show up on the ‘Tokens’ tab. If your tokens do not show up, you can search for the token by clicking on the ‘Import tokens’ button.
MetaMask has an ‘enhanced token detection’ feature that can be switched on and off from the settings.
Once you have cryptocurrencies in your MetaMask wallet, you can swap cryptos directly from your wallet home page. Ensure that you hold the native token (ETH, BNB, MATIC) of the blockchain to pay for gas.
MetaMask will search across decentralized exchanges (DEXs) for the most competitive rates. The app charges a service fee of 0.875% on each swap.
The most important point to remember while sending tokens from your MetaMask wallet is to ensure that the recipient’s wallet address is correct. Otherwise, your tokens will be lost and will become irretrievable.
Specify the amount you want to send while remembering that the blockchain will charge a gas fee to execute the transaction.
You can also set the amount of gas fee you want to spend depending on network congestion and transaction priority.
You can access various dApps encompassing decentralized finance (DeFi), blockchain gaming, NFTs, and more with your MetaMask account.
Your MetaMask app will serve as your login to these Web3 websites. You can visit these websites from your browser on your PC/laptop as long as you have installed the MetaMask browser extension.
If you have not installed the MetaMask browser extension on your PC/laptop, you can use WalletConnect to log in using your MetaMask account. This is useful for browsers like Safari that do not support the MetaMask browser extension.
The experience on your smartphone is slightly different. The MetaMask mobile app comes with an inbuilt browser that allows you to seamlessly log in to Web3.
Ensure that the blockchain that your wallet is connected to is the same one where the dApp exists.
MetaMask Portfolio is a dashboard that tracks all your cryptocurrencies and NFTs in one place. This dashboard shows users the history of all transactions conducted via their MetaMask account, the value of their portfolio, and the real-time market price of their tokens.
Users can also create a token watchlist and buy/sell crypto using their debit cards (only available in select geographies).
Without leaving the interface, users can swap, bridge, and stake their cryptocurrencies directly from the MetaMask Portfolio dashboard.
MetaMask searches for the best prices on DEXs for token swaps. The wallet allows users to bridge their tokens from one blockchain to another. MetaMask also allows users to stake their ETH and MATIC tokens using third-party applications like Lido and RocketPool.
MetaMask is used by more than 30 million people, and we give it a strong rating in our comprehensive review.
Yes, you can download MetaMask via a compatible browser like Chrome, Firefox, Brave, Edge, or Opera, which all allow you to download the MetaMask browser extension.Safari is the default browser on Macbooks, but it does not support the MetaMask browser extension.
Yes, you can use MetaMask on Safari using WalletConnect. Although Safari does not support the MetaMask browser extension, users can log in to dApps on their Safari browser by scanning the WalletConnect QR code from their MetaMask smartphone application.
Note that not all dApps support WalletConnect.
No, you cannot hold bitcoin on your MetaMask wallet. However, you can hold wrapped bitcoin, which is an ERC-20 token that tracks the value of bitcoin on an EVM chain.
No. MetaMask only supports EVM-compatible blockchain networks. As the Bitcoin blockchain is not an EVM-compatible chain, your bitcoins may be lost if you send them to your MetaMask wallet address.
No. MetaMask only supports EVM-compatible blockchain networks. As the Solana and Cardano blockchain is not an EVM-compatible chain, your SOL and ADA tokens may be lost if you send them to your MetaMask wallet address.
MetaMask supports tokens that exist on EVM-compatible blockchains. ETH and any ETH-based token (ERC-20, ERC-721) are supported. Other supported blockchains include BNB Chain, Avalanche C-Chain, Linea, Polygon, Arbitrum One, Optimism, Fantom, Harmony, Aurora, Celo, and Palm.
MetaMask charges a service fee of 0.875% on each token swap conducted via its dashboard.
Secure your secret recovery phrase by writing it down on a piece of paper and storing it safely. Use MetaMask only on a personal device. Never share your private keys and secret recovery phrase with anyone. Set a strong wallet password.
You can recover your MetaMask wallet using the secret recovery phrases.
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Mensholong is an experienced crypto and blockchain journalist, now a full-time writer at Techopedia. He has previously contributed news coverage and in-depth market analysis to Capital.com, StockTwits, XBO, and other publications. He started his writing career at Reuters in 2017, covering global equity markets. In his free time, Mensholong loves watching football, finding new music, and buying BTC and ETH for his crypto portfolio.
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