What is MetaMask?
Founded in 2016 by Consensys, MetaMask is an Ethereum digital wallet that creates easy access to decentralized applications, including exchanges, gaming platforms and staking opportunities in decentralized finance (DeFi) space.
MetaMask provides a user-friendly interaction between your web browser and the Ethereum blockchain, which is the host network for many dApps. Users can store Ether or any other ERC-20 token that was built using the Ethereum network and then use that cryptocurrency with any decentralized application of their choice.
Upon release, the wallet was available as a browser extension. A Chromium-based web browser is required such as Chrome, Firefox or Brave. But recently the company has released a smartphone app version for both Android and iPhone. The wallet is unique from other digital wallets because of its encryption capabilities. Passwords and private keys are stored securely, with the user only needing to manage their own independent seed phrase.
MetaMask not only provides access to Ethereum network but also extends its access to other networks such as Binance Smart Chain and other testnets. MetaMask provides flexibility to switch between different mainnet networks and the convenience to connect multiple wallets.
It allows users to directly connect with Ethereum dApps without the need to run an Ethereum node. This would involve downloading the Ethereum blockchain. Before MetaMask, to communicate with a dApp you had to provide private keys to your cryptocurrency wallet – a high-risk move. dApps now ask for permission for funds access through MetaMask, which means there is no need for your private keys to be sent to the dApp, making the process much more secure.