How to create a MetaMask Wallet in under 10 minutes
Whether you’re serious about jumping into the world of Crypto, Web3, and NFTs or even if you’re just curious and want to see what it’s all about, there’s one thing you’ll need.
A crypto wallet.
A good crypto wallet is your gateway to the world of Web3. It’ll allow you to sync with decentralised apps, store your crypto and NFTs, and trade assets with others in the space.
One of the most popular and most convenient crypto wallets to use is MetaMask. With over 21M monthly active users, it’s a great choice for the novice or professional crypto enthusiast.
Below I’ll run you through a simple step-by-step method to set up a MewtaMask wallet so you can start - or grow - your engagement with the world of Web3.
How to set up a MetaMask crypto wallet
Setting up your MetaMask wallet should take no more than 10 minutes. Once you have it, you’ll be able to link it to platforms like OpenSea to trade NFTs, or Binance to invest in different cryptocurrencies.
Here’s what you need to do.
Step 1 - Choose your platform
MetaMask’s crypto wallet is available in 3 primary forms.
- As a browser extension (on Chrome, FireFox, Brave, or Edge)
- On iOS devices
- On Android devices
For ease of use, I would recommend starting with the MetaMask Chrome extension. It;s the easiest to set up and can then easily be linked to your mobile device.
Step 2 - Download the MetaMask Chromeextension
Head to MetaMask’s home page and look for the big download button.
Clicking it will take you through to the next page which details the different formats the wallet is available in.
Choose your preferred option - for this we’re going to use the browser version (specifically Chrome).
Follow the install prompts and get add the MetaMask extension to Chrome.
You’ll then have this little icon pop up in your nav bar.
Congrats. You’ve now downloaded and installed MetaMask for your wallet.
Next, let’s set up your wallet.
Step 3 - Creating a new MetaMask wallet
With the extension installed, it’s time to set up your MetaMask wallet.
Click on the extension and then the “Get Started” button. Once it’s clicked, you should have 2 options that look like th ebelow.
If you already have a MetaMask account on a different device and want to link it to this instance, you’ll choose the Import Wallet option.
However, for first time set ups you want the right hand option of creating a new wallet.
After you’ve clicked that, you’ll be served a short disclaimer then asked to create a password.
This password is super important. It's not going to be stored in your Chrome passwords as it’s through an extension.
If you want to keep a digital copy, make sure it’s in a secure tool like 1Password, or better yet, make sure there are physical copies.
You’ll need the password to log into your MetaMask account in the future.
After you’ve followed these steps, the basics of your new MetaMask wallet are done.
Step 4 - Securing your secret recovery phrase
This next bit is incredibly important.
After you've set up your wallet you’ll see a screen that explains what a secret recovery phrase is.
The phrase will be 12 random words in a specific order. Make a note of these (ideally physical) and keep it safe.
In short, this is the phrase you’ll be able to use to regain access to everything in your MetaMask wallet by linking it to a new device.
So, imagine you have MetaMask on your browser and want to link the MetaMask phone app.
Pop in this phrase and you’ll also have access on your phone (I'll explain how to do this later)
It’s incredibly important to keep this phrase secret. If anyone else gets hold of it, they could set up a new MetaMask and use your phrase to get access to your investments.
So make sure to keep it as safe as possible.
Once you’ve noted the phrase down, you’ll have to enter it to prove you’ve got it safely stored.
Step 5 - Enjoy your new MetaMask wallet
You now have a full, working MetaMask wallet that will allow you to engage and take part in crypto, Web3, and NFT platforms.
Before we move on, let’s take a quick look at the wallet’s ins and outs.
What’s in your MetaMask Wallet?
Below is a numbered screenshot of the MetaMask browser extension. Below, you’ll find numbered entries explaining what each element is.
- This is the network you’re currently connected to. By default, it’s the Ethereum Main Network. Not all currencies and transfers can happen on that network, so you might have to add new networks to trade different coins (all coins you’ll want to trade have simple instructions on how to add new networks - worry about this if and when it comes to trading alt-coins).
- Your current wallet account. You can click the pixelated image to get an overview of the account or add a new account to your MetaMask browser extension.
- Your public address. If someone wants to send you some crypto or you want to transfer an asset to this wallet, this is the address you send it to. The public address is safe to share and available for all to see on EtherScan.
- Your current asset value. This is a simple readout of the asset this wallet holds on this network and its fiat value.
- Buy, send, swap. These are straightforward options. Buy allows you to buy ETH directly from your MetaMask Wallet. Send allows you to send an asset to someone else’s public address. Swap allows you to swap one currency for another.
- Assets and Activity. The asset tab offers a run down of all assets. The Activity tab offers a view of recent activity.
The most important elements you’ll need to get used to are numbers 1, 3, and 4.
The asset and value is self-explanatory (number 4).
You need to get comfortable checking the network to ensure that - when you send yourself assets - they’re supported by the network you’re using.
If the asset isn’t supported on that network you’ll action the trade and lose the asset forever, even if the public address is correct.
The public address also needs to be correct for you to receive the assets.
A mistake on these and you’ll lose anything sent to your MetaMask wallet.
How to link your browser MetaMask wallet to mobile app
If you also want to add your wallet to the MetaMask mobile device, here’s what you need to do.
Step 1 - Download the app
Head to your device’s app store and search for the MetaMask phone app.
Follow the install steps and open. When it asks if you want to create a new wallet or if you have a recovery phrase, choose the recovery phrase option.
You’ll be asked to enter the 12-word recovery phrase to add the same wallet to your mobile device.
Step 2 - Find your secret recovery phrase in MetaMask’s browser extension
Head back to the browser extension version of MetaMask that you’ve already set up and click the pixelated profile image in the top right to open the menu.
Navigate to the bottom option “Settings”.
Then scroll down to the Security and Privacy option. Click it.
On the next screen there will be a button that says “reveal Secret Recovery Phrase”.
Click that and enter your password to reveal the 12-word secret recovery phrase.
IMPORTANT: Do not share this phrase with anyone. It will give anyone access to your MetaMask.
Step 3 - Link MetaMask mobile to your existing wallet
Now enter the recovery phrase on mobile and you’ll have full access to the account on your mobile device.
Your MetaMask wallet is now synced across mobile and desktop.
What is MetaMask?
MetaMask is one of the most popular crypto wallets that allows people to invest in crypto, trade, NFTs, and engage with decentralised apps.
It comes in both a browser extension form and also a mobile device.
With over 21,000,000 users it's one of the most popular crypto wallets on the market.
However, it’s what’s commonly referred to as a soft or hot wallet - which are more user friendly and accessible for many, but not as secure as a hard wallet.
Why choose MetaMask?
MetaMask is one of the most popular soft wallets available because it’s so incredibly easy to use.
It uses very little processing power and sits in your browser extension list until it’s needed.
Of course there are pros and cons to using MetaMask as your primary wallet, which we;’ll cover in detail below.
What are the benefits of MetaMask?
The main advantage of MetaMask is how simple it is to use.
After what is actually a very easy installation, you’re ready to rock and roll across hundreds of decentralised apps and services.
The browser extension means that you can open MetaMask direct from the website you’re engaging with. And when you’ve linked the two and authorised the site to talk to MetaMask, it acts as your log in for that site.
It eventually acts as a single sign on service for all the decentralised apps and platforms it integrates with.
You’re able to use all of the assets you’ve stored in your MetaMask across any of those sites.
From a UX perspective, MetaMask is an incredible wallet.
What are the negatives to MetaMask?
MetaMask isn’t perfect and does have a few negatives.
The first of which is security.
Being a browser extension and app, it’s almost constantly connected to the internet which means it’s at increased risk for a hack.
Whilst the likelihood of this is slim, it’s still there. Thankfully, it can be overcome by buying a hardware wallet to secure your assets.
The other issue is that MetaMask does not support all cryptocurrencies.
There currently isn’t any one wallet that supports al cryptocurrencies, however, most of the popular ones support the major players.
And MetaMask is missing support for BitCoin which is a rather glaring omission.
However, as things seem to be moving to an ETH first world, then it shouldn’t be an issue for you.
Set up your MetaMask Wallet now
MetaMask is one of the most popular hot crypto wallets for a reason.
It's easy to set up and use, integrates natively with a huge variety of different crypto platforms and decentralised tools, and can really ope the doors to getting involved in Web3 and Crypto.
Hopefully this guide has helped you understand how to set up your MetaMask wallet.
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