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Manbir Singh Marwah
Manbir Singh Marwah

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A Guide to Ethereum Ecosystem Using MetaMask

MetaMask is an open-source crypto wallet and a gateway to blockchain apps, by ConsenSys. It makes accessing and building on Ethereum's dApp Ecosystem easier, right from the browser without running a full Ethereum node. MetaMask can be installed as a browser extension (on Chrome, Firefox, Brave and Edge) or as an app on Android and iOS devices.

Being one of the most secure hot wallets, MetaMask works with JavaScript by injecting a Web3 object into the webpage you're on. It is important to note that this does not alter the website in any manner. Instead, it only adds a functionality that makes it possible to access the Ethereum platform.

Let's walk down the steps on how to install and use MetaMask right from your browser, real quick!

1. Visit https://metamask.io/ and click on 'Download Now'

metamask-1

2. Click on 'Install MetaMask for Chrome'

metamask-add-chrome

3. Click on the 'Add to Chrome' button

metamask-add-to-chrome

And confirm the addition of extension by selecting 'Add Extension'.
metamask-add-extension

4. View MetaMask in the Chrome extensions menu

metamask-ext-icon

5. Click on 'Get Started' and 'Create Wallet'

metamask-create-wallet

6. Enter a password and click 'Create'

metamask-create-password

7. Reveal or download and store backup seed phrase

The seed phrase is a randomly-generated string of words cryptographically derived from the wallet’s private key and paired with 12 words from a list of 2,048 English words called the BIP39 Wordlist. This sequence can also be converted to a corresponding series of mapped numbers that provide the user access to his wallet and its public-private key pair.
A crypto wallet’s software is designed to generate these phrases, which users are then tasked to keep. This ensures that even if the hardware malfunctions or gets lost or stolen, they can always download the wallet software again and use the seed phrases to restore access to their assets back.
metamask-reveal-secret

MetaMask uses BIP39 to generate a seed phrase for your wallet. Your seed phrase will cover every token, address, and transaction generated by your wallet. Think of it as your backup master key. Backing up your seed phrase ensures you will always have access to your funds.

8. View backup phrase

Note it down and store it at a safe place. Then click 'Next'.
metamask-approve

9. Confirm backup seed phrase

You'll have to confirm the seed phrase by clicking the words in the order it was shown previously, and click 'Confirm'.
metamask-confirm-approve

10. Agree to terms and conditions, and Voila!

Congratulations, you have successfully setup MetaMask and created your first wallet!
metamask-congrats

This is how the wallet should look in expanded view:
metamask-wallet


Adding a Custom Token

We can add multiple custom tokens to the MetaMask wallet, such as wBTC, USDT, UNI etc. To add one,

  1. Open MetaMask and click on 'Assets' to see the tokens in your wallet.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom and click on 'Add Token'.
  3. Click on 'Custom Token'.
  4. Paste the contract address for the token you want to add, into the Token Contract Address field. For example, if you're adding Tether USD (USDT), the token contract would be: 0x5dbcF33D8c2E976c6b560249878e6F1491Bca25c.

custom-token

You can look-up for the contract of the token you want to add through Etherscan, the Ethereum Blockchain Explorer. You can also explore an address, transaction hash, block or ENS through the same.


Configuring a Custom Network for Binance Smart Chain

MetaMask supports addition of other networks apart from Ethereum, such as Binance Smart Chain (BSC)—a blockchain network built for running smart contract-based applications and holding BEP2 tokens. To add BSC MainNet to MetaMask, you'd need to visit the 'Settings' menu through the wallet. Under the 'Networks' section, manually add the following entries to add Binance Smart Chain to your wallet:

Network Name: Smart Chain
New RPC URL: https://bsc-dataseed.binance.org/
ChainID: 56
Symbol: BNB
Block Explorer URL: https://bscscan.com

You'll now be able to access BSC through the 'Networks' tab at the top of your wallet.


Swapping tokens on MetaMask

MetaMask allows us to swap tokens directly from the desktop or mobile wallet. The Swaps feature combines data from decentralized exchange aggregators, market makers, and DEXs, to ensure we get the best price with the lowest network fees.

metamask-swap


Exploring dApps

MetaMask offers a broad ecosystem of Decentralized Applications (or dApps). The following are a few of the dApps that you can explore and use with MetaMask:

  • Uniswap: Uniswap is a DeFi protocol that is used to exchange cryptocurrencies. It offers Uniswap Interface (a DApp) using which you can connect your MetaMask wallet to swap one token to another.
  • Blockchain arcades: These are dApps created to allow gamers to use ETH and ERC-20 tokens for video game tournaments. For example, one of the requirements for the Etherplay site is to have MetaMask.
  • The Digital Art: This is another app that is becoming very popular in crypto communities. The app allows users to hold auctions where they sell collectibles. With MetaMask, for example, you can bid on a WWII collectible from Japan.

Also check out Best of MetaMask—State of the dApps for more.

Good luck exploring the future of web using MetaMask! ;)


Disclaimer: This blog is meant for educational purposes only and nothing from this blog should be taken as a financial advice. Please DYOR before investing.

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Loveneesh Dhir

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