Metamask is something you would have definitely heard of if you are in the loop with developments in crypto or the tech side of it or if you were ever interested in Decentralized Applications (DApps). This article is a brief overview of Metamask, what it is, what it does and what can you do with it.
What is Metamask?
Imagine Metamask as your digital wallet and your entrance to the decentralized world. It comes as a browser extension that works seamlessly with popular browsers like Chrome, Edge, Brave and most latest browsers. With Metamask, you can securely store, send, and receive cryptocurrencies while exploring and connecting to decentralized applications.
How to work with Metamask?
You can install Metamask from the Chrome web store and follow the instructions to create your wallet. Metamask actually stores your public and private keys which it uses to make any transaction, i.e., purchase or sell crypto for you using these keys, or to interact with the dapps.
However, while making the account, you will notice they generate a unique twelve-word seed phrase for you, which nobody else in the world has. Now, what Metamask technically does is, as a wallet, it interacts with specific blockchain networks like Ethereum, Solana, or wherever we want to make our account. Now, these blockchain networks maintain their own distributed ledgers, which store the account information, balances, and transaction history. That’s why when you make your account on Metamask, you can use the same seed phrase that was provided to you while making the account, to log in on other non-custodial wallets like Phantom, because essentially, it’s not Metamask, that’s storing your account details, but it’s on the chain.
This single example proves why current tech giants have such boundless authority in today’s date. When you create your account on Instagram, it’s not held somewhere distributed, but in Instagram’s own server. They have access to all your details and activities and they can and have been trading this information for so long. You literally own nothing in the web2 counterparts. Even the images you post on Instagram are owned by Instagram and not you. This is why web3 thrives on the motto of getting the authority back to the user.
What’s the point of Metamask?
Metamask is basically a non-custodial wallet, which means you and only you have access to your keys and nobody else, not even Metamask.
Now, when we are introduced to crypto as a beginner, we mostly use centralized crypto exchanges to purchase cryptocurrencies or crypto tokens in exchange of fiat currency like USD. But centralized exchanges like Binance are custodial wallets, which means they own your keys, and your coins, not you. When we buy ETH on Coinbase, we don’t directly own the ETH coins on the Ethereum blockchain. Instead, Coinbase creates an internal ledger where they keep track of how much ETH we own. And until you send “your” ETH out of the Coinbase ledger (which comes at a hefty surcharge), they make full use of “your” idle ETH to make themselves money.
However, deep within its essence, Metamask stands as a minimalistic repository, akin to its counterparts, yet more elemental, designed solely for the realm of ETH and ETH ERC-20 tokens. Similar to its non-custodial counterparts, it refrains from possessing any substantial belongings; its sole possession being your public and private ETH key. The public blockchain stands as the true custodian, meticulously “storing” the sacred archives of your ETH endeavors.
On the other hand, Metamask is just a skeleton wallet, and just simply functions as a wallet. At its core, it was initially made and is built for ETH and ERC-20 tokens. Unlike the custodial wallets, Metamask stores nothing, other than our public and private keys. If you buy ETH on Metamask, you own ETH as per the records on the public blockchain and not some ledger.
But since it is a browser plugin, any website can try to fool you. The best option to use Metamask is to use it in an open source browser and use it only in that browser and visit only the trustworthy pre-verified websites.
As the decentralized web evolves, Metamask continues to play a crucial role. Blockchain and decentralized space is more than just merely cryptos. It’s the tip of the iceberg, the huge promises blockchain as a technology has to offer, and the authority it brings back to the common people and the control over their data and identity. Exciting developments like decentralized identities and web3 protocols are on the horizon, and you can bet Metamask will be there, in a more complicated way possibly, a more evolved form, but yes, it will be there.
Metamask is as easy and intuitive for a beginner-level user as it gets. Metamask is something worth experimenting with, guiding you through the decentralized web. Getting access to Metamask opens up a completely new horizon of concepts worth exploring. Install Metamask, create your wallet, and embark on a journey of decentralized wonders. The future is here, and Metamask is ready to take you there