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How to download, set up and use MetaMask



What is MetaMask?

Before we begin, let's quickly explain what MetaMask is. Metamask is a free smartphone application and browser plugin that acts as a decentralized wallet.


MetaMask allows you to buy, store, send, exchange and receive Ether and other ERC-20 (Ethereum-based) tokens. You can also connect to any decentralized app (dapp) and use various networks.


Here are some of the pros and cons of using MetaMask:


Pros:

You don't have to deal with private keys. In fact, MetaMask generates a security phrase for the user and signs transactions on your behalf.

By using MetaMask, you avoid having to download the Ethereum blockchain to your computer, so you save a lot of space.

MetaMask is designed to work well with Dapps so the process of sending and receiving tokens is easy.

Cons:

MetaMask stores private keys inside your browser, this is not the best security.

MetaMask depends on external nodes. These nodes occasionally have "downtime," which can cause MetaMask to crash.

Setting up your MetaMask account

To get started, you need to download and install the MetaMask browser add-on or download the app available for iPhone or Android; we recommend downloading both and linking the accounts.


MetaMask is compatible with Chrome, Edge, Brave and Firefox. This guide will show you how to install it using Chrome, but the process is almost identical for other browsers.


1) In your browser, search for 'MetaMask.io'. This will take you to the homepage of the MetaMask website. Click on the 'Download Now' button.


2) Then, select 'Chrome' and click on 'Install MetaMask for Chrome' at the bottom of the page.



3) This will take you to the Chrome web store. After pressing the 'Add to Chrome' button, a push notification will appear. Once you click on 'Add extension', MetaMask will start downloading.



4) Once downloaded, a splash screen should appear as shown below.



After clicking "Get Started," you will need to import an existing portfolio or create one if you do not already have one. In this guide, we will guide you step by step toward creating a portfolio.



5) After selecting 'Create a portfolio,' you will be asked if you would like to help improve MetaMask. If you do not like this, select 'No thanks'; otherwise, you can select 'I agree'.


6) Next, MetaMask will ask you to create a password. Note that this is the password for your MetaMask account and is therefore not the same as the private or recovery keys for your wallet.


7) Next, you will be taken to the 'Backup Security Phrase' page, where you will be given the 12-word recovery phrase for your wallet.


This phrase is very important because you will need it to retrieve your wallet on any device if needed. Be sure to write this sentence down and keep it in a safe place. After you have done this, click on 'Next'.



MetaMask will ask you to re-enter and confirm your retrieval phrase. Once entered, press 'Confirm'.


8) Finally, click 'Done' to complete the setup process. After this, you will be connected to MetaMask automatically.


Once everything is set up, your homepage should look like this.



9) To rename your account, all you have to do is click on the three dots to the right of your home screen, click on account details, and then press on the pen icon.


The 'Assets' section is where you can see your transaction history.


The 'Assets' section is where all your assets are listed. MetaMask automatically lists Ethereum support, but it is very easy to add support for other tokens, just press the 'Add Token' button near the bottom of the home screen. Type the name or address of the token you want to add into the search bar. Then, click on the token and press the 'Next' button. When you return to your homepage, you will see support for the added token.




Buying crypto on MetaMask

When you click on 'Buy' on the homepage, you will be presented with two options.



If you already own Ether, you can use the 'Deposit Ether directly' option.


The other option is to purchase some tokens through Wyre, a third-party service provider. By clicking on 'Continue on Wyre,' you will be presented with the screen below.



If you do not want to pay in dollars, you can change the fiat currency by clicking on the 'USD' icon. Similarly, you can change the cryptocurrency you are purchasing by pressing the 'ETH' icon.


Once you enter the amount of your chosen fiat currency that you want to spend, the amount of ETH, or whatever ERC-20 token you are purchasing, will be shown in blue.


Your MetaMask address will be displayed at the bottom. Note that Wyre requires you to purchase using a credit/debit card.


Next, you will be presented with the details of the transaction, including the exchange rate and transaction fee.



Wyre charges a 0.75% purchase fee or a flat fee, whichever is higher. The "network fee" is a fee on the Ethereum network, so MetaMask has no control over this (gas fee).


Next, you will need to authorize the transaction and accept Wyre's T&Cs. When you click "Next," you will be able to purchase your tokens!


Sending and receiving tokens on MetaMask

To send tokens on MetaMask, all you have to do is press 'Send' on the homepage and enter the recipient's Ethereum address or scan their barcode.



A useful feature on MetaMask is that it allows you to choose between a 'Slow', 'Medium' or 'Fast' transaction speed. The faster the speed, the higher the transaction cost.


If you would like to receive some cryptocurrency, click on the three dots to the right on your homepage and then select 'Account Details'.



What appears is your Ethereum address and the address barcode on your MetaMask, which is what a person needs to send you tokens.


Exchanging tokens

Swapping Ethereum-based tokens is another third-party service provided by MetaMask.


It starts by clicking on 'Swap' on the homepage.


Next, you need to select the token you want to swap and the amount you want to sell. Once you have selected the token you want to swap, MetaMask will verify that the selected token is legitimate.



By clicking on "Review Swap," MetaMask will search through all the different decentralized exchanges to find you the best quote.



This quote includes an estimated network fee, the MetaMask fee, and lists the maximum gas fee you might be charged.


Once you have decided on a quote, click 'Swap,' and the transaction will be processed.


Adding contacts

Cryptocurrency addresses consist of a long and complicated list of numbers and letters, so it is easy to make mistakes when you enter them manually. Unfortunately, these kinds of mistakes can sometimes result in a loss of tokens.


Creating contacts for people you regularly trade with is a useful step to avoid this.


To add a contact, all you have to do is click on your profile icon, then in the drop-down menu, click on 'Settings', then select 'Contacts'.



Then, press the blue '+'. In the 'Username' section, enter the contact's name and add his or her public address in the 'Ethereum Public Address Section'.



Once this is done, click 'Save' to create your contact.


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