DeFi Guides


What is and how does Metamask work? 

Metamask is a cryptocurrency e-wallet that can be installed on any web browser as an extension. The blockchain-based crypto wallet, which also functions as an application programming interface (API), is suitable for and can be connected to any Ethereum-based decentralised applications (dApps).

To put it in another way, Metamask is an integrative API solution that enables seamless interaction between a user and the Ethereum ecosystem. Here, users are able to access their different Ethereum wallets using the software, which is available as a browser extension on a desktop browser or as a mobile app.

If you are well-versed in the crypto field, Metamask is arguably one of the top ten most commonly used crypto terms. Interestingly, the reason can be attributed to its extensive use as Ethereum wallet solution in the industry, cutting across, decentralised exchanges (DEX), gaming platforms, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and a variety of other applications.

The Etherum-based wallet is compatible with the majority of popular browsers, including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Brave, and Firefox. More specifically, it is used to store Ethereum’s native money, ETH, as well as a variety of other tokens based on the blockchain protocol’s ERC-20 and ERC-721 specifications.

On a more extensive scale, Metamask is used for more than just storing cryptocurrency; the Ethereum-based API solution also allows users to store other related data like public addresses and public keys.

A brief history of Metamask 

Founded in 2016 by Aaron Davis and a blockchain technology solution company – ConsenSys, Metamask was built as an API solution. 

Although it has been around for almost five years, it only became very prominent recently, following the spike in the NFT market and dApps. 

According to the maker – ConsenSys, the Etherum-based wallet has now exceeded five million active users globally. Prior to its recent milestone, Metamask barely surpassed 400,000 users from its inception and September 2020. 

In particular, Metamask users increased by more than 125% in October 2020 to reach one million active users, about the same time it started attracting more attention from the NFT sector.

While it was initially made available as a desktop application, Metamask was subsequently released as a mobile application on both iOS and Android-powered devices in September 2020.

Notably, the Metamask wallet is exceptional for a variety of reasons, some of which include the platform’s overall user experience/interface and security. In terms of security, Metamask offers a one-of-a-kind smart encryption solution capable of securely storing users’ data such as passwords and private keys on the user’s device rather than on-chain.

Furthermore, the wallet allows users to synchronise multiple wallets as well as switch between the Etherum mainnet, and major testnets including the Binance Smart Chain mainnet where it is mostly applicable. 

How does Metamask works?

The way Metamask works is far from rocket science given that it is simple to integrate on any browser as mentioned earlier, and much easier to connect to as many Ethereum wallets as possible.

Interestingly, the procedure of setting up the software across different browsers is very similar, and its the same for its usage. A simple guide to setting up a Metamask account (preferably of your desktop) is as follow;

To get started, search for MetaMask/ on your desktop web browser or click this link directly.

Step 2: Scroll down to the bottom of the home page and look for ‘get started.’ There is an option here that says ‘Download MetaMask Today.’

What is and how does Metamask work?  |

Step 3: By clicking ‘Download MetaMask Today,’ you will be redirected to a page where you may install the program on any of your, iOS or Android-powered devices. If you are setting up on a desktop browser, you’ll also across an ‘Install MetaMask for Chrome’ option.

What is and how does Metamask work?  |

Step 4: Once you click ‘Install MetaMask for Chrome,’ you will be redirected to another page where you will get a prompt that reads ‘Add extension.’ 

What is and how does Metamask work?  |

Once you have successfully added MetaMask as a chrome extension, you can proceed to click ‘Get started’ as seen below.

What is and how does Metamask work?  |

Step 5:  Once you have added the extension, you will be provided with two options: ‘import wallet’ or ‘create a wallet.’ The first option lets you add an existing cryptocurrency wallet by entering a secret recovery phrase.

What is and how does Metamask work?  |

The second option, on the other hand, allows you to create a new crypto wallet entirely. From here you can proceed to connect your MetaMask wallet to the AFEN NFT marketplace.

Step 6: If you choose to create a new wallet, you will be required to create a new MetaMask password which will be used to secure your MetaMask plugin.

Step 7: After successfully creating a password for your MetaMask plugin, copy the secret backup phrase that appears on your screen (as seen below) and pastes it or write it down in a secure location where you will always have easy access to it.

What is and how does Metamask work?  |

It is important to note that the backup phrase is a user’s only chance to recover a wallet in the event that the password is forgotten. As such, it is quite necessary to keep it in multiple secure locations. By Clicking the “Next” button, you will be taken to the “secret Backup Phrase” confirmation page.

Here you need to enter each word provided accordingly and proceed to click “confirm” after which you are then redirected to the final page where you are to click “All Done” to finalise the setup process. By now you are logged in already and can start interfacing with various Etherum wallets as well as the Ethereum ecosystem as a whole.

What is Metamask gas fee? 

Firstly, the gas fee is an alternative way of describing transaction fees in the crypto space. In this context, Metamask charges a fraction of the cost on every transaction i.e, Metamask gas fee, based on the status of the interfaced Ethereum network.

In the event that a user finds paying a certain gas fee inconvenient, there is an option that allows users to alter the gas fees limit using an advanced tab that enables parameter customisation. 

If you are wondering, the gas limit is the highest cost paid as a transaction fee, while parameter customisation primarily allows Metamask users to choose a preferred value to be charged on every transaction depending on the complexity of the activity.

Fees and limits vary in the sense that fees are the cost of processing transactions, where as gas limits are the greatest transaction costs a user is willing to stake on a single transaction. 

You may be wondering why someone would want to pay more for the same service that can be paid for less? Well, the twist here is that the transaction processing speed (TPS) is usually determined by the transaction fee paid. Hence, the higher the gas fee the faster the transaction. For more context, Metamask offers its gas fee in different options including “Fastest,” “Fast,” and “Slow.” Simple as that!

Ultimately, Metamask provides the simplest yet most secure way to connect to blockchain-based applications.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.