If you’re interested in the Ethereum ecosystem, you need an application like MetaMask. Far more than a simple wallet, it allows you to interact with websites that integrate Ethereum. 

MetaMask will let you connect to lớn decentralized applications from inside your browser (or through a Mobile app). You can make trades without intermediaries and play games with fully-transparent code (so you know you aren’t being cheated).

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Check out the guide below lớn get started!


Initialize the walletUnlock the decentralized web


With Ethereum came the promise of a distributed Internet – the long-awaited Web 3.0. A cấp độ playing field characterized by a laông xã of central points of failure, true ownership of data, & decentralized applications (or DApps).
Such an infrastructure is steadily coming together with an industry-wide focus on Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and interoperability protocols that ayên ổn to bridge the various blockchains. It’s now possible to trustlessly exchange tokens & cryptocurrencies, take out crypto-backed loans, và even use Bitcoin on Ethereum.
For many Ethereum enthusiasts, MetaMask is the go-to wallet. Unlượt thích your regular điện thoại thông minh or desktop software, it comes packaged as a browser extension, allowing users khổng lồ directly interact with supporting webpages. In this article, we’ll explain how MetaMask works và walk you through getting started with it yourself.
MetaMask is an open-source Ethereum wallet that supports all kinds of Ethereum-based tokens (such as those following the ERC-đôi mươi standard, or non-fungible tokens). On top of that, you can receive them from others, or purchase/swap them with the built-in Coinbase & ShapeShift integrations.
What makes MetaMask so interesting is that it can interface with websites. With other wallets, you’d need khổng lồ copy-paste payment addresses or scan a QR code on a separate device. With the MetaMask extension, the trang web simply pings your wallet, và you’re prompted to lớn accept or reject the transaction.
MetaMask can serve sầu as a regular crypkhổng lồ wallet, but its real strength is in seamlessly interfacing with smart contracts và decentralized applications. Let’s now look at how khổng lồ mix it up.

Install MetaMask

The MetaMask wallet can be installed on Google Chrome, Firefox, or the Brave sầu Browser. It’s also available on iOS & Android, but we won’t cover that in too much depth. We’re going lớn use Firefox throughout this tutorial, but your steps will be more or less identical, irrespective of the platsize you’re using.

Head over to the official download page on metamask.io. Select your browser, which will take you lớn the Chrome web store or the Firefox add-ons site. Cliông xã on the button khổng lồ add the extension to your platsize. You may need to lớn grant it some permissions before it’s up và running. Make sure you’re happy with the cấp độ of access it has khổng lồ your browser – if you are, we’re good to go.

If you’re anything lượt thích us, you’ll probably spend a good bit of time trying lớn make this guy dizzy with your cursor.

Once you’re done pestering the fox on the welcome page, clichồng on Get Started. This is where you’ll be prompted lớn either import a seed phrase or create a new one. Click on Create a Wallet. The next page asks whether you want khổng lồ submit anonymized data to help the devs improve the ứng dụng. Piông chồng whichever option you prefer.
Now we need to lớn create a password. If you’re one of those legendary creatures that actually reads the user agreement for your software, you can view it by clicking on Terms of Use. Otherwise, come up with a svào password, tiông xã the box, & hit Create.
The following point is enough khổng lồ warrant its own subheading. MetaMask is a non-custodial service, meaning that no one else can access your funds – not even the MetaMask developers. Your tokens exist in a sort of encrypted vault within your browser, protected by your password. That means that if your computer is lost, stolen, or destroyed, nobody toàn thân can help you recover the wallet. Your private keys will be forever lost in the void of cyberspace.
So, it’s crucial that you write down your backup phrase. This is the only way you can restore your trương mục should something unfortunate happen. As suggested, we recommover that you write the words down and store them in two or three different locations. You don’t need to bury them in a fireproof safe deep in the forest, but hey, it can’t hurt.

When you get to lớn the next page, the program anticipates that you may have sầu been lazy with the previous step, because it asks you to lớn confirm the phrase. If you didn’t the first time, clichồng Back & write it down!
Confirm the phrase, then proceed to the next step. Hit All Done, và you’ll see the wallet interface.
In this tutorial, we’re going to lớn be using the Ropsten testnet. It’s a network that functions almost exactly like the real Ethereum network, but its units have no value. These come in handy when you’re developing contracts & want to lớn make sure that they don’t have vulnerabilities that allow attackers to drain $50m in value. Every step we perform on this network today will be replicable on the real thing (except for the part where they gift us không tính phí ether, unfortunately).
To tune into lớn the Ropsten testnet, click on Main Ethereum Network in the top right corner and select Ropsten Test Network.

There are lots of different testnets on Ethereum. If you’re wondering about the differences, kiểm tra out this comparison.

We’re going lớn use a faucet lớn get some kém chất lượng money to play with. Navigate khổng lồ this page on your Metamask-enabled browser lớn get some.

You can cliông xã on the little fox inhỏ at any time to lớn get a pop-up with your MetaMask trương mục information (as we’ve done in the GIF above). Hover over Account 1, and cliông xã khổng lồ copy your Ethereum address to the clipboard. Paste it inkhổng lồ the size & hit Send me thử nghiệm Ether.

Ethereum transactions are generally confirmed pretty quickly, but it might be a while before the 1 ETH lands in your wallet. Chechồng lớn see whether you’ve got it by clicking on the fox in your toolbar.

Since we’re on a testnet, we don’t have sầu as big a selection of applications lớn play around with. For a comprehensive danh sách of mainnet decentralized applications, kiểm tra out State of the DApps or Dappradar. You can play games, buy one-of-a-kind assets, or place bets on prediction markets.

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We’re going to use the DApp we demonstrated earlier. Uniswap is a decentralized exchange, or DEX, meaning that it allows us khổng lồ place trades without relying on intermediaries. The mechanisms underpinning it are pretty neat – kiểm tra out What Is Uniswap and How Does It Work? if you’re interested in how it works.
Go ahead and access it here. In the top right-hand corner, you should see a prompt to lớn Connect khổng lồ a wallet. You’ll see this in some form on all MetaMask-compatible sites, as it doesn’t automatically connect for security reasons. Clichồng on it, and you’ll be asked to lớn select which wallet you’re using. In case you haven’t been following, that wallet will be MetaMask.

When a site first attempts to connect, a MetaMask dialog will appear, asking you to lớn confirm the action. You’ll be able lớn select an account (we only have one, for now, so leave sầu that as is) before verifying what permissions you’re about to lớn grant. In this case, as in many others, the site is requesting information on the wallet address your trương mục controls.

On MetaMask and privacy

It’s important khổng lồ be mindful of what you’re permitting. If a trang web knows your address, they can see all of the ether và token transactions to lớn & from it. What’s more, they can correlate it with your IP. address.

Some prefer to segregate their addresses to prsự kiện any overlap, while others aren’t concerned with these risks (after all, the blockchain is public). The level of privacy you want to achieve sầu ultimately depends on you. As a general rule, don’t grant access to lớn websites you don’t trust.
Time khổng lồ make our first swap. We’ll be doing it for DAI, an ERC-trăng tròn token that serves as a stablecoin. Just like our ether, though, this DAI has no real-world value. Hit Select a token, add the Uniswap Default List, and then clichồng on DAI. Alternatively, you could also piông xã WETH (wrapped ether).
All that’s left to lớn bởi vì is to input the amount of ETH we want khổng lồ swap. As we vị that, we’ll get an estimate of how much DAI we’ll receive sầu. And we’re good to lớn go! Hit Swap.

Complete the swap with MetaMask.

You’re once again prompted khổng lồ take action in MetaMask. In this case, you need lớn okay the transaction before it’s created. Make sure you’re happy with the fees when you’re doing this on the mainnet, as they can be significant.

After that, we just need khổng lồ wait for the transaction to confirm!

Where are my tokens?

So your ether’s gone, but your tài khoản doesn’t show your tokens. No need to lớn panic – you have to add them manually.

For more popular tokens, you can select Add Token in your wallet và tìm kiếm for the name or ticker. For the less popular ones (or those on the testnet), we need to add the contract address – an identifier that tells MetaMask where to lớn look for our balance.

Open your wallet by clicking on the extension.Click on the three dots in the top bar.Select View on Etherscan.Under Overview, cliông xã on the Token dropdown và select DAI.Under Profile Summary, you should see a contract address. Hover over it và copy the address.Return to lớn MetaMask và cliông xã on Add Token.Cliông chồng on the Custom Token tab.Paste what you’ve sầu just copied into the Token Contract Address form.The rest should autofill. Cliông xã on Next, followed by Add Tokens.Return khổng lồ the main overview to see your full balance.

Congrats! You’ve sầu just interacted with your first DApp by trustlessly swapping ether for DAI. Everything you’ve sầu learned can now be done in the real world. When you’re ready lớn play with mainnet applications, remember to switch baông xã from Ropsten khổng lồ the main network.

What else should I know?

MetaMask has some other neat features that we haven’t covered today. You can also connect a hardware wallet (Trezor & Ledger are both supported), create a liên hệ list, and, of course, receive và send funds as you would in a normal wallet. Check out the settings lớn customize the extension khổng lồ suit your needs.
Other than that, the usual security principles apply: MetaMask is a hot wallet, meaning that it runs on an internet-connected device. This exposes you lớn more risk than a cold wallet, which is kept offline to lớn reduce attack vectors.

Lastly, when using MetaMask, it stands to lớn reason that you should be conscious of what websites you’re granting access khổng lồ.

The MetaMask app

The MetaMask Android/iPhone ứng dụng provides a neat solution for interfacing with Web3 apps on the go. Boasting much of the same functionality as the extension, it integrates a DApp browser so you can access various decentralized applications at the touch of a button.


The MetaMask app’s browser.

The workflow of the application is very similar to lớn that of the browser extension. You can make direct transfers of ether or tokens from your wallet, or even interact with Uniswap as we saw above. 

Connecting lớn PoolTogether via a prompt within the ứng dụng.

Closing thoughts

MetaMask is a powerful tool for browsing the decentralized web. If you’ve followed along with the steps in this guide, then you’ve seen the wallet’s potential. Evidently, others have sầu, too: it currently boasts over a million users.

As the Ethereum staông xã develops, applications lượt thích MetaMask will undoubtedly become integral components in the bridge between existing technologies and nascent cryptocurrency infrastructure.

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