MetaMask was created by ConsenSys, a New York-based software blockchain company founded by Joseph Lubin in 2015. Known for its fox logo and colorful interface, MetaMask is a free online wallet that allows users to store and manage account keys, broadcast transactions, send and receive Ethereum-based cryptocurrencies and tokens, and securely connect to decentralized applications through a compatible web browser or the mobile app's built-in browser.
Think of MetaMask as your portal to enter Web3. The wallet has over 21 million monthly users as of 2022, making it one of the most popular wallets in the world. MetaMask connects you to over 3700 dapps, all of which enable you to do different things.
By connecting MetaMask to Ethereum-based dapps, users can spend their coins in games, stake tokens in gambling applications, and trade them on decentralized exchanges.
It also enables users to utilize decentralized finance, known as DeFi, which can be used for things such as staking, letting you earn money by staking your cryptocurrency. Most of the company’s revenue comes from peer-to-peer token swapping, having generated $10 billion in fees so far.
As with anything, there are pros and cons to using MetaMask.
- Popularity, and compatibility with most dapps and websites you will need to use in Web3.
- It uses open-source technology that is updated by the community, meaning the company doesn’t own your data.
- Intuitive User Interface and User Experience.
- Lots of reviews and how-tos online.
- Being an online wallet, it is more vulnerable to hacks. In case your device gets breached, there is a chance hackers may be able to steal your cryptocurrency. This differs from cold wallets such as Ledger, which are limited in their options, but are very difficult to hack since they are offline.
- Even though MetaMask doesn’t track your data, the browser companies in which the wallet is used can see how often a user has accessed their wallet, something that certain users don’t like.
- Metamask only supports Ethereum and Erc-20-based tokens.
Now that you are caught up with the basic information on MetaMask, let's continue your Web3 journey with a step-by-step guide on how to download it. Below are the steps you can use to set up your own MetaMask wallet.