MetaMask is a leading online cryptocurrency wallet that enables users to connect to the growing Web3 ecosystem of decentralized applications, tokens, and NFTs. It’s compatible with Ethereum and all ERC-20 tokens, as well as several other blockchains and Layer 2 solutions such as Polygon and Arbitrum.
Getting started with MetaMask
Getting started with MetaMask is straightforward, and only takes a few minutes to set up an account using the web browser extension. MetaMask is compatible with multiple browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Brave, and is also available as a mobile app.
From the official MetaMask home page, navigate to the extension for your browser and click “Download” to begin the installation process.
Once the browser installation is complete, follow the on-screen prompts to create a new wallet. If you already have a MetaMask account, there will be an option to import an existing wallet.
As part of the wallet setup process, you’ll be asked to set up a password. For security reasons, use a unique password.
MetaMask will also generate the secret recovery phrase for the account, which is the only way to recover funds in the event that the password is lost or forgotten. You should write down the phrase and store it securely offline.
The MetaMask account setup is now complete, and you can begin using your account.
Security considerations when using MetaMask
- Be aware that many scammers use the MetaMask name and logo on clone or spoof versions of the website and apps to try to trick users into giving away their private keys.
- Only ever download the MetaMask apps and extensions from the official MetaMask website or via the official app store for the device.
- Observe all security measures for protecting recovery phrases, including storing them securely offline and never revealing them to any third party.
The MetaMask wallet can be opened from the browser extension menu.
The default home screen opens to show your Ethereum balances shown in ETH and USD and a range of options to buy, send, swap, or bridge cryptocurrencies. Below, you can toggle between views which display token holdings, NFT holdings, and account activity.
You can also enter the Portfolio view, which is a separate full webpage view of the browser wallet with some additional portfolio management features.
You can navigate MetaMask using the various menu options within the app. Menu options include a network switcher that allows you to switch between Ethereum and other networks supported by MetaMask, as well as the option to switch between different accounts on the same network.
The menu also contains the app settings and the address book, which allows you to set up frequently used blockchain addresses.
Using MetaMask for crypto transactions
New users will have a zero token balance when they start using MetaMask, so they will need to either buy some crypto or receive some from another account. MetaMask allows you to make a purchase from within the app by clicking the “Buy” button. The app provides a range of quotes and payment methods based on your location.
To receive crypto, such as ETH, from another account, you can copy your ETH address or generate a QR code for the address from the Account dropdown at the top of the page by clicking the three dots to the right and selecting “Account details.”
Once you have a crypto balance, you can use MetaMask to send transactions to other users, swap for other cryptocurrencies, or bridge assets to other networks.
Using MetaMask with dapps
To use MetaMask with a dapp such as Uniswap or Decentraland, navigate first to the landing page for the dapp itself and launch it. You will be prompted to connect a wallet. Select MetaMask from the list, then enter your password and follow the approval steps to connect MetaMask to your chosen dapp.
MetaMask integrations and additional features
MetaMask offers connectivity with a wide range of dapps; however, it has also integrated several other services and features into its wallet. For example, the “Buy” feature allows users to use fiat currency to purchase crypto and fund their wallet right from within the MetaMask interface.
The wallet integrates with OpenSea, so you can view your NFTs held on OpenSea within the MetaMask extension. This option can be accessed in the browser extension view from the NFT holdings screen or the settings.
You can connect your Metamask app to Trezor and Ledger hardware wallets, allowing you to interact with dapps using assets held in cold storage. Click on the Account dropdown at the top of the browser extension view and select “Add hardware wallet” to start the connection process.
You can also participate in ETH staking within the MetaMask interface when using the Portfolio view. From the main home page, select “Staking” on the left-hand menu to bring up the options of liquid staking via RocketPool or Lido Finance.
How to use MetaMask essentials
- Download the MetaMask web browser extension from the official MetaMask homepage.
- Follow the steps to set up a new wallet, including generating a secret recovery phrase that must be stored securely offline.
- Buy some crypto, send some to your new account, or connect your hardware wallet, and you can start using MetaMask to interact with dapps and tokens.