This article is exploring the MetaMask Ethereum and ERC20 token Wallet. You will be able to learn more about this wallet, who made it, and what are the benefits of using it. Additionally, you will also learn more about the state of crypto and will understand just how much of a large dominance Ethereum has over the token markets.
In the end, you can also find additional resources, such as articles and videos explaining how to use MetaMask, as well as how to use MetaMask with EtherDelta, a fully decentralized peer to peer exchange.
What is the problem that MetaMask is solving?
Today, the cryptocurrency marketplace consists of 1486 different cryptocurrencies, and 545 of them are considered tokens. Tokens, in this case, are cryptocurrencies that are based on top of a platform, such as Ethereum.
About 80% of those 545 tokens are ERC20-compliant and hosted on the Ethereum blockchain. With a market this big, surely it is easy to get lost in the number of different wallets you need to have just to function, let alone thrive.
This is where MetaMask comes in the picture, to enable you to securely store various amounts of value in the comfort of your own browser, without having to resort to having hundreds of different wallets.
Of course, MetaMask is not the only wallet of this kind, and you can find other applications that can and will solve the same problem of not having to make a different wallet for every token. Here is a list of the alternatives that can be used to participate in ERC20-based ICO’s, as well as a wallet for already issued tokens:
Why should you use MetaMask?
There are several reasons why you should use MetaMask, instead of the alternatives suggested above.
The first reason is that it creates a private key-pair via a seed and is accessible through the web browser. User have complete control of their private keys, which can be used to access funds anywhere.
Second, it allows you to keep any ERC20 Token in the same wallet, as well as allowing you to easily view your account on the Ethereum blockchain. Read below to find out more on how to add tokens to your wallet.
Third, you can interact with the Ethereum blockchain without having downloaded or running the proprietary software that is usually necessary. MetaMask is giving your browser the ability to read and understand dApps. For a full list of decentralized applications supported by MetaMask, click here.
Last but not least, MetaMask enables you to participate on EtherDelta, a decentralized exchange, directly from the wallet. You don’t have to deposit or withdraw funds on the exchange, but rather the website communicates with the MetaMask extension and enables you to trade on the spot.
How to use MetaMask?
We’ve covered the benefits of using MetaMask, but not how you actually use it.
To begin with MetaMask, you first need to install the browser extension available at https://metamask.io/. There are currently Opera, Firefox, and Chrome extensions, as well as a built-in version of MetaMask in the decentralized Brave Browser.
Once you have it downloaded, you can easily create a new “vault”, which is a wallet that you can access using a special 12 word seed phrase. You are shown this phrase in the account creation process, so make sure to back it up in a safe place.
After this is done, you are all set. You can start using MetaMask instantly. For more information, and an in-depth explanation watch this video.
How to add any ERC20 Token to MetaMask?
Adding ERC20 tokens to MetaMask is also simple. There is a special “Tokens” tab on the main screen. From here, using the token contract information, you can register any token that you want to accept in your wallet. From there sending ERC20 tokens to your address will enable them to show up under the Tokens Section and thus allowing you to send them.
If you are missing information about the token, there are a couple of ways you can get it:
- Contact the developers and ask for the information
- Find the token at https://etherscan.io, and look at the contract address, token decimals and ticker symbol to register the token in MetaMask.
Bonus: How to use EtherDelta?
EtherDelta is a decentralized exchange, therefore a decentralized application and MetaMask can interact with it directly from your browser. As I mentioned above, this allows you to trade, buy, and sell, without sending your Ether to an exchange.
MetaMask is a really interesting implementation, a true gift to the crypto ecosystem. Beyond just a wallet, MetaMask is actually an interface, a bridge between dApps and your browser. Effectively allowing you to directly access the Ethereum blockchain, it is capable of helping people save time and energy.
This bridging feature is something that is unique to MetaMask for now, and the application has huge potential for growth in terms of developer and user acceptance. My personal prediction is that MetaMask will play an increasingly larger role, as the cryptocurrency world keeps on growing steadily, attracting new crowds every year.
These newcomers to crypto will need a way to directly interact with Ethereum, and MetaMask is the perfect solution for beginners, as it works to protect them while keeping things simple enough.