What Is MetaMask and How Do You Use It?

MetaMask is a web extension that connects to the Ethereum network and provides access to an Ethereum wallet. With MetaMask on your browser, you can interface with various Ethereum dApps and sign smart contracts without any need to run a full node. Essentially, MetaMask makes it possible to convert your normal browser into an Ethereum one. Websites that run Ethereum-based smart contracts and apps will be able to communicate with the blockchain and the extension lets you store your private keys and public addresses.

Why MetaMask Matters

MetaMask is an important tool because of its ability to seamlessly connect to the Ethereum network. Via a plug-in, regular websites are able to use requests on the Ethereum blockchain. This includes the ability to make purchases using Ether in some cases when it would not normally be accepted as a payment method.

Installing MetaMask

To start using MetaMask, you just need to install it on your browser and follow the directions. Start by going to the MetaMask website and getting the extension for the appropriate browser. MetaMask is available for Chrome, Brave, Firefox, and Opera. As you do so, ensure you choose a strong password and store your recovery seed as well as the password in a secure location. During this process, you will get access to a default account that is linked to a public Ethereum address on the Main Network. Either keep using this account or add another in the top right corner.

Using MetaMask As a Wallet

Once you have MetaMask installed, you can easily send Ether to your new MetaMask wallet. This process is just like sending crypto to any other address. You should be able to easily find the appropriate address by looking at the “…” icon. There is an option there to copy the address. From there, go to the wallet or exchange your funds are stored and paste the address of your MetaMask wallet. Remember that MetaMask is just used to store Ether.

You can also easily use MetaMask to send Ether by clicking on the Send button. From there, you enter the address of the recipient and the quantity, just like you would with any other crypto wallet.

It is important to note that if you want to use MetaMask to store an ERC-20 token, you will need to add it manually. To do so, go to Tokens and then Add Token. From there, fill in the required fields and you will be set.

Using MetaMask

When you want to use MetaMask, just go to the website that you plan on visiting. The exact interface will vary slightly but a vast range of Ethereum websites support or even require MetaMask. In most cases, the website you visit will ask you to create an account. As you do so, it may copy your public address from the MetaMask browser. MetaMask will give you a pop-up to confirm you wanted to sign in. At this point, your chosen Ethereum website will work normally, letting you seamlessly buy items using your MetaMask wallet. You will see the final confirmations within MetaMask.