Wallets are where people store their cryptocurrencies but how can you interact with applications?
This is a guide on how to use MetaMask; a wallet built to store crypto and interact with dApps on Ethereum (decentralised applications).
Supported Cryptocurrencies: ETH, all types of ERC tokens (ERC20, ERC721…)
Step 1: Download
The first step to using MetaMask is to download the browser extension which works on both Chrome and FireFox. You can download it from the official website: MetaMask.io
Step 2: Creating/Restoring Wallet
Once you’ve downloaded the extension, it is time to create a wallet.
You will have two options:
Import Existing Wallet: Restore an existing wallet of which you have the secret recovery phrase consisting of 12 words
Create New Wallet
For the purpose of this guide we’ll cover the process from a New Wallet creation standpoint.
Step 3: Set Password
MetaMask is a browser extension which makes it unsafe to keep without a password. Hence, you’ll need to create a password which you’d use each time you re-open your browser and open MetaMask.
Step 4: Secret Recovery Phrase
Each MetaMask account comes with a 12-word secret recovery phrase. This is important to write down and keep safely because if you ever lose access to the account and want to re-access your funds you’ll need that phrase.
Click on the padlock to reveal the words and write them down. Once you click on “next” you’ll be asked to confirm the order of the 12-word phrase which you’ve typed down. Then you’d be done!
Step 5: Funding Wallet
Click on the top of the page as shown below to copy your Ethereum address and use it to send ETH or any ERC token (USDC, USDT, UNI, AAVE…). As this interacts with the Ethereum blockchain, you’ll need to fund your account with some ETH to pay for transaction fees (i.e. gas).
You can send funds from your exchange or other cold storage wallet you may own.
Step 6: Connecting to dApps
Say you want to use Sushiswap (decentralised exchange/DEX). You’ll simply go to that website and look for the “Connect Wallet” button which usually sits on the top right corner of the page. Once you click on it, protocols/dApps will give you multiple wallet options out of which is MetaMask, click on that.
You’ll then be asked by MetaMask which account you want to connect to the dApp as you can create multiple addresses on the same account (each with a separate private key of course), choose and proceed with “next” and then “connect”.
Congratulations! You now have a MetaMask account and are connected to a dApp with which you can interact and make transactions!
Step 7: Making Transactions
Directly from MetaMask you can send tokens to other addresses and swap. All other transactions would be made from within a decentralised application.
Transfers are simple and straightforward but other activities such as swapping or staking take two steps:
Unlock token for spending by protocol
Execute transaction (stake, swap…)