What is MetaMask, a Virtual Currency Wallet|Basic Information & Why Has It Become So Popular?

MetaMask is a crypto asset (virtual currency) wallet that can manage, send, receive, and connect various virtual coins (tokens) to related services. A virtual currency wallet is, as the term implies, “a wallet that can (store) virtual currency” and can manage blockchain-based virtual currencies issued worldwide.

What you can do with MetaMask

  1. Manage virtual currency
  2. Deposit & Withdraw virtual currency
  3. Connect with related services (WalletConnect)
  4. Swap (exchange)

This article will start with an explanation of MetaMask. Please refer to the related articles below for details on downloading and using it, as they explain in detail in separate pieces.

Click here to visit the official Metamask website (download).

Basic Information on Metamask

Developed and operated by ConsenSys (consensys.net) and released in September 2016, the virtual currency wallet Metamask is “completely free” to download and use. However, different network (on-chain) fees are required for each corresponding blockchain (explained later). This is a network fee required due to the nature of the virtual currency.

Users are free to use it as a virtual currency wallet by downloading the meta-mask from their browser or app.

ConsenSys, the operator, announced that it has surpassed “30 million” monthly active users (MAUs) as of January 2022. According to the announcement, this is a 42% increase over the past four months, and its popularity is on a rapid and steady rise. Currently, ConsenSys has nearly 700 employees. In March 2022, the company completed a $450 million funding round, with well-known companies such as SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Microsoft, and Anthos Capital participating in the financing. This brings the company’s latest valuation to over $7 billion.

Demand for Metamask

So in what cases will Metamask be needed? In the virtual currency market, the related services, called decentralized finance (DeFi / Decentralized Finance), which are modeled after the economic sphere of the traditional financial market and decentralized by utilizing blockchain technology and without a centralized administrator, have been increasing in the virtual currency market since mid-2021, and growth. This is known as the “DeFi boom,” and from this timing, the number of users using meta-masks increased dramatically. The factor was the sudden acceleration in the popularity of “Non-Fungible Tokens” (NFT), which began to be reported on TV and in the news at the end of 2021.

With the popularity of DeFi and NFTs, why is MetaMask growing?

Why did the sudden increase in the popularity of the DeFi and NFT markets cause MetaMask’s active user base to grow? The answer is simple: a virtual currency wallet must use DeFi and NFT’s related services.

To purchase tokens and NFTs handled by DeFi, users prepare a personal wallet and connect their wallets to the services provided by each project. By clicking their wallets, users can buy and sell tokens and NFTs offered by DeFi and NFTs. In addition, the popularity of Blockchain Games (BCGs) called Axie Infinity has recently heated up, and virtual currency wallets are also required to use these BCG services.

As these booms heat up, “MetaMask” has come into everyday use and will continue to be required for services connected to wallets.

Advantages of MetaMask.

MetaMask is a personal virtual currency wallet, which means its operation is very flexible. Below are the advantages of using MetaMask.


Advantages

  • Almost any virtual currency can be stored.
  • Customizable fees
  • Low risk of GOX
  • Multiple accounts can be managed with one account

Almost all virtual currencies can be managed.

The first part is essential, but the number of supported stocks is vast. MetaMask can manage Ethereum-based virtual currencies. It also supports related chains that mimic the ETH chain so that you can manage tokens from the BinanceSmartChain (BSC) and Avalanche (AVAX) chains.


Customizable Fees

Another appealing feature of Metamask is the ability to customize commissions at will. For example, when sending and receiving ETH-related tokens on the Ethereum chain, a “gas fee” is charged. The Ethereum blockchain determines the number of transactions processed per second. If that limit exceeds, a mechanism is employed whereby transactions are processed in the order the most fees pay.

MetaMask uses a mechanism that allows you to select a processing speed from low (approx. 20 Gwei), average (approx. 22 Gwei), and high (approx. 26 Gwei), thus preventing you from overpaying fees in advance. (* Once paid, gas fees are not refundable.)


Less risk for GOX.

Most virtual currency purchases have been made using services where a centralized administrator called a virtual currency exchange exists. After purchasing virtual currency on an exchange, the purchased virtual currency is stored in the exchange. However, this poses a risk (GOX) of funds being extracted without permission if a malicious administrator exists on the exchange.

However, with MetaMask, users manage two types of keys themselves to increase security: a “private key” and a “secret recovery phrase.”

These are vital features to connect to your account, and if your PC or phone is lost or malfunctions, you can use them to recover your account. Furthermore, the MetaMask side does not control the private keys or wallet data that can access the assets, which suggests a high level of security for GOX on the operating side. However, in December 2022, a Metamask account was hacked. The project’s virtual currency, worth 800 million yen hacked, so while it cannot be said to be completely secure, managing the private key and secret phrase yourself limits your risk to the danger; however, organizing your private key and secret word by yourself can reduce your risk.

What is a private key & secret phrase?

A private key is the data needed to access user account information recorded on the blockchain. The Secret Phrase is used to recover an account from its initial state; it also retrieves the private key using 12 key phrases.

Multiple accounts can be managed with one.

MetaMask allows you to create & add multiple accounts in one extension and within the app. Various reports can be assigned different addresses and private keys for other purposes.

In addition, the ability to list different accounts and move to another account with a single click is another secret to Metamask’s popularity.”

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