What is the virtual currency wallet “MetaMask”? | Basic information & why did it become popular?

MetaMask is a cryptocurrency wallet that allows you to manage, send and receive, and connect to related services for various tokens. As the name implies, a cryptocurrency wallet is a “wallet that can store cryptocurrencies” and can manage blockchain-based cryptocurrencies issued all over the world.

  1. Cryptocurrency management
  2. Deposit & withdrawal of virtual currency
  3. Connection with related services (WalletConnect) Swap

Click here for the official Metamask website (download)

The virtual currency wallet “Metamask” developed and operated by ConsenSys (consensys.net) and released in September 2016 is “completely free” for download and use. However, when sending and receiving virtual currency, different network (on-chain) fees are required for each compatible blockchain (explained later). Due to the characteristics of virtual currency, a network fee is required.

Users are free to use it as a cryptocurrency wallet at any time by downloading MetaMask from their browser or app.

The operating company, ConsenSys, announced that the number of monthly active users (MAU) as of January 2022 has exceeded “30 million”. According to the announcement, it seems to have increased by 42% in the past four months, and its popularity is on the rise. Today, ConsenSys employs nearly 700 people and completed a $ 450 million funding round in March 2022, with well-known companies such as SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Microsoft and Anthos Capital raising funds. Participation. As a result, the company’s latest valuation is over $ 7 billion.

So in what cases does Metamask need to be? In the virtual currency market, centralized management will be carried out by decentralizing using blockchain technology, using the economic zone of the conventional financial market as a model, which is called decentralized finance (DeFi / Decentralized Finance) from the middle of 2021. A related service that does not exist has grown rapidly in the cryptocurrency market. This is called the “DeFi boom”, and from this time on, the number of users who use MetaMask has increased sharply. Another factor is that the popularity of “NFT / Non-Fungible Token”, which was reported on TV and news at the end of 2021, accelerated at a stretch.

Why did the rapid increase in popularity of the DeFi and NFT markets contribute to the increase in active users of MetaMask? The answer is simple, because you need a cryptocurrency wallet to use DeFi and NFT related services.

Basically, in order to purchase tokens and NFTs handled by DeFi, prepare a personal wallet and connect the wallet to the service provided by each project. By connecting a wallet, users will be able to purchase and sell tokens and NFTs provided by DeFi and NFT. Recently, the popularity of BCG (Blockchain Game) called Axie Infinity is heating up, but you need a virtual currency wallet to use these BCG services.

Due to the heating of these booms, “MetaMask” has become popular, and MetaMask will continue to be essential for services that connect to wallets.

Since MetaMask is a personal cryptocurrency wallet, its operability is extremely flexible. Here are the benefits of using MetaMask

  • Can store most virtual currencies
  • Customizable fees
  • Low risk of GOX
  • You can manage multiple accounts with one

First of all, it is a basic part, but there are a lot of compatible brands. MetaMask allows you to manage Ethereum-based cryptocurrencies. It also supports related chains that mimic ETH chains, so you can manage tokens for BinanceSmartChain (BSC) and Avalanche (AVAX) chains.

One of the attractions of MetaMask is that you can freely customize the fees. For example, when sending and receiving ETH-related tokens on the Ethereum chain, a fee called “gas fee” is incurred. In the Ethereum blockchain, the amount of transactions that can be processed per second is determined, and if the upper limit is exceeded, a mechanism is adopted in which the transaction is processed in the order of payment of the largest fee.

MetaMask uses a mechanism that allows you to select the processing speed from low speed (about 20Gwei), average (about 22Gwei), and high speed (about 26Gwei), so you can prevent overpayment of fees in advance. (* Gas ​​charges once paid will not be refunded.)

These are important features for connecting to your account, and you can use them to recover your account if your PC or smartphone is lost or broken. Furthermore, since MetaMask does not manage the private key and wallet data that can access the assets, it can be said that it is highly secure against GOX on the management side. However, in December 2022, there was a case where the MetaMask account was hacked and the virtual currency equivalent to 800 million yen of the project was hacked, so although it is not completely safe, the private key and secret phrase are used. Managing yourself can reduce the risk of danger.

[What is a private key & secret phrase?]
The private key is the data required to access the user account information recorded on the blockchain. The secret phrase is used to recover the account from the initial state. It is also used to get the private key using 12 key phrases.

With MetaMask, you can create and add multiple accounts within the app as well as one extension. Multiple accounts are assigned different addresses and private keys, so you can use them according to your needs.

Furthermore, it is possible to list different accounts and move to another account with one click, which is also the secret of MetaMask’s popularity.

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