MetaMask Review: Technical Analysis, Benefits and Drawbacks
With so many great options for ethereum wallets, it can be difficult to determine which one is the best. All of them have their own specific features and benefits that may make them a better choice than others. If you are looking for an option that offers excellent security and privacy as well as being beginner-friendly with easy access across multiple devices, then we may have exactly what you are looking for.
MetaMask is a free, open-source extension that allows users to interact with decentralized applications (dapps) in their browser without running an Ethereum node. In addition to this DApp access functionality, MetaMask also provides wallet services and can be used as an ENS domain registrar for those who want the full range of features offered by the product.
There are two versions available: one for Google Chrome or Firefox add-ons and another standalone client which runs on Windows, MacOSX and Linux operating systems.
In this MetaMask review, we will explain how MetaMask works, its advantages and disadvantages, and whether it is worth giving a try.
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What is MetaMask?
MetaMask is a browser extension and Ethereum wallet that provides users with the ability to interact with dapps running on the blockchain. It is designed as a plugin for Chrome browsers, but it can also be installed on Firefox or Opera through extensions compatible with those browsers.
MetaMask provides an easy interface for users to interact with dapps, and also has the ability to store Ether or other ERC20 based cryptocurrencies on users’ devices, which can be used in various dapps without having to register another account.
Users access MetaMask by logging in via their web-browser after downloading and installing the app onto their device from its website. Once logged in they are able to see all of their transactions and balances at any time without having to download an entire blockchain onto their computer which would take hours if not days depending upon your internet connection speed.
Furthermore, because MetaMask stores nothing locally there is no possibility of losing funds due to viruses or malware attacks against personal information.
What are the Main Uses of MetaMask?
The main use of Metamask is as a wallet to store Ethereum and to purchase, sell, or trade Ether via Metamask’s built-in exchange service. Users can also connect their MetaMask account with other wallets such as MyEtherWallet so they do not have to enter private keys on every transaction.
MetaMask can also be used for interacting with smart contracts on Ethereum network. This means it can be used for executing transactions on the blockchain like creating and sending tokens.
MetaMask has its own default ETH for funds. The account’s private key is stored in users’ browser’s local storage so that they have access to it even without an internet connection since all actions happen locally and offline.
MetaMask can be used for dapps like CryptoKitties by spending Ether inside of them directly from their wallets while being able to view the game progress through Chrome extension.
What the the Main Advantages of Metamask?
Ease of Set Up
Even users with little cryptocurrency knowledge should be able to setup Metamask without any major hitches. All users need is an email address or mobile phone number – no private key required! Once Metamask is installed on Chrome, users have full control over their funds straight away. The entire process can be broken down into the following three steps:
- Install the extension
- Create or import an account
- Purchase Ether
Free to Use
MetaMask is totally free and open-source. This is a major advantage over other comparable options which have considerable user fees.
Support of Various Dapps
MetaMask provides benefits over other wallets by being compatible with nearly every dapp out there which makes managing multiple currencies much easier. These include Augur, EtherDelta, Datawallet, CryptoKitties, and many more. This means that the MetaMask wallet can be used to store Ether, tokens, and various other forms of crypto without the need for a centralized exchange like Coinbase.
Full Control of Funds
MetaMask users have access to all their funds stored on the extension at all times time because unlike the majority of other exchanges, they are not held on an external server. For users who are particularly securit-conscious, using a hardware wallet such as Ledger Nano S would be the best solution since it stores private keys offline and away from hackers’ reach.
No Additional Downloads
MetaMask allows users to interact with Ethereum dapps without running a full node or installing any additional software. It relies on remote nodes, which are run by other people but controlled through MetaMask’s interface.
This can make MetaMask feel lightweight but being able to run it through Chrome alone is a massive advantage over other competitors. The network of remote nodes provides an alternative way for someone who isn’t tech-savvy to still use Ethereum technology.
Users can Create Their Own Wallet
The potential for MetaMask users to create their own internal wallet is another major benefit of this technology. Users’ private keys will never leave the browser and they cannot be hacked if there is a strong password set up. This makes MetaMask safe to use on both private and public WiFi networks since no one can gain access to funds due to the encrypted connection.
Zero Exchange Fees
Perhaps the most impressive thing about MetaMask is that it doesn’t charge any exchange fees. Even Coinbase charges a small fee to buy Bitcoin using a bank account or credit card, and even then, users still have to pay another fee when cashing out back into US Dollars.
There are also zero exchange rates or fees when sending money from person to person through MetaMask and if users want to convert crypto coins for cash (or vice versa), all of the proceeds go straight to their wallet address without having been charged anything in between.
These zero exchange fees tie right back into privacy because users don’t need to worry about their financial information as a result of being charged an extra fee at withdrawal time, or of storing sensitive data on a third party server where they could be hacked later on!
MetaMask also offers advanced privacy settings which allow you to choose who sees your transactions by selecting “Public” or “Private” mode at the time of sending a transaction; Public means anyone on the blockchain has access while Private keeps all addresses private but reduces speed significantly due to encrypt
Private key storage means that MetaMask users store all of their own funds. Therefore, if anything was to happen to MetaMask, all user data and currency will be safe because it’s stored in the blockchain itself, not on some central server.
What are the Main Disadvantages of Metamask?
Time Needed to Sync the Blockchain
This is a common complaint about MetaMask and means that users sometimes need to wait a while before transactions are confirmed. It can also result in increased transaction fees by the time a transfer goes through if there are sudden price hikes.
High Gas Prices
Gas is a unit of computational power on the Ethereum network which is needed for transactions like buying or selling tokens from an exchange. The price of gas fluctuates based upon supply and demand because as more people use MetaMask, there are fewer miners. This means that the cost per transaction goes up with increased volume. With MetaMask, the GWEI (gas price) can be as much as 50 GWEI, which is higher than similar services.
There are some potential security vulnerabilities related to MetaMask’s operating model. With users storing their own keys and funds, their wallets may be vulnerable if someone was able to access their device by stealing their phone or laptop. Furthermore, some critics are concerned that an attacker may be able to put a malicious code on a website which calculates and transfers funds from MetaMask users to their own account. The Ethereum blockchain is immutable so these transactions could not be reversed or undone once they were confirmed by other nodes in the network.
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Is MetaMask a Good Wallet?
MetaMask can be used to store Ether and other tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. If you are new to cryptocurrencies, MetaMask will create a wallet for you automatically with no need to download or install anything else. Metamask has many of the same features found in MyEtherWallet, but it offers more streamlined navigation.
The most significant downside to using MetaMask over other wallets like MEW is that it’s not currently possible for users to save a backup of their private key. This means that if someone was able to get access to the users’ computer they could be able to extract this information and take control of any funds stored in MetaMask.
How Safe is MetaMask?
All in all, MetaMask is very safe to use. It encrypts users’ private keys using the AES-256 algorithm and the only entities able to decrypt this data are the person with the password (ie the user themselves) and MetaMask’s servers. In order to steal information stored in MetaMask, a cyber criminal would have to remove this information and then decrypt it, which would be very difficult (if not impossible) without knowing any passwords or gaining access to a server.
This means MetaMask is safe for storing Ether because even if it could be hacked by an outside party, they would never be able to see how much money was being stored inside it unless they also had the account details.
What is MetaMask Good For?
MetaMask has many excellent uses. It allows you to interact with Ethereum dapps without running a full node and syncing the blockchain. Users can sign transactions, manage accounts, check gas prices at different transaction times, visit decentralised exchanges like EtherDelta or IDEX, and purchase items from games like Cryptokitties while still maintaining control of your private key.
Can MetaMask be Hacked?
No, MetaMask cannot be hacked. Users’ private keys are never stored on the internet and they’re encrypted with AES-256 encryption, which is used by banks to secure online transactions. The stateless nature of MetaMask also means that all data passed from a website to MetaMask happens in an isolated environment where no sensitive information can leave without being encrypted first. When someone changes or tampers with something inside this sandboxed area, any changes they make are kept there when the view refreshes – making hacking virtually impossible!
Is MetaMask Good for Beginners?
Metamask has a simple user interface and is relatively easy to use. However, there are still some technical aspects that beginners might not be able to understand. Users do not need any advanced knowledge about cryptocurrencies in order to start using MetaMask as long as they have a basic understanding of how wallets work in general.
Is there a MetaMask App?
Yes, there is. Metamask has an app for Android and iOS phones that allows users to store their Ether offline on a mobile phone. If the user’s phone dies or gets stolen then all of their funds remain safe because they are stored in their own wallet and are not connected to any centralized service provider which could be hacked.
To Sum Up…
MetaMask is a very convenient and secure ethereum wallet that can be installed as an extension in the Google Chrome browser. It offers excellent security, privacy, and usability for beginners with its simple interface and does not require running your own node or buying expensive hardware to use it. If you are looking for a reliable way to store ETH securely, MetaMask may well be the right wallet for you!
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I’m Jon, owner of Trade Wise at https://tradewise.community/ and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7VmOx8DbvX4Rbrac2pPcjw
I review forex and crypto trading products and services to find the best of what’s out there for creating a passive income without becoming a full-time trader.