This web page shows you how to properly use Metamask directly from your browser. The metamask version that I use for this guide is version 6.6.1 (Updated June 6, 2019). Each time metamask developers roll out major update, I will update this page as well. First, let’s talk about what is Metamask before we go into how to use it.
What Is Metamask?
Most Popular Ethereum Wallet On Your Chrome/Brave Browser
Developed by Consensys, Metamask is arguably the most popular ethereum wallet on your brave/chrome browser extension. What you need to do is just install the plugin, create the wallet, save the backup phrase, and you can easily use it without running any full Ethereum node.
Metamask is popular because it’s been around for years and it is very easy to link your metamask to various different Ethereum-based decentralized exchanges such as ForkDelta, IDEX, or DDEX. Personally I use metamask due to how convenient it is. Of course if you rarely trade your crypto assets from your computer, better to store most of your ERC20 tokens with hardware wallet such as Ledger Nano. But, Metamask itself is one of my favorite crypto wallets. It’s one of top 3 ERC20 wallets that I’ve been using.
Where To Start?
I will just assume you know how to download extension for your web browser. You can use Chrome or Brave or Firefox or Opera. Go to https://metamask.io/ and on the middle of the homepage you will find the link to download Metamask extension with your web browser. You will be redirected to your browser extension/add-on store, where you can download Metamask. Make sure you see plenty of reviews before you download the extension just in case you are a victim of DNS hijacking.
Tip 1. Metamask on Chrome web store has more than 1500 reviews. If you see only 20-30 reviews or even less, it might be a fake metamask extension
Tip 2. Always make sure you see the padlock icon left to the web URL. When you visit metamask.io, you can click the padlock icon, and choose ‘Certificate’. You should see ‘Issued to: Metamask.io’.
Setting Up Your Wallet With Metamask
After you install metamask add-on, metamask will automatically open a new tab for you. You should click Get Started. Then you will see this image:
Import Wallet is the option to restore your wallet from another device (or in case of reinstalling the extension). For now, choose Create a Wallet
Secret Backup Phrase:
This is the most important thing to remember. Secret backup phrase is a 12 words backup phrase to restore your wallet in case of any bad scenario. For example, if you lose your current computer or laptop, you can restore your metamask on another device with this same secret backup phrase. If any of your friend or family member finds out your secret backup phrase, they can also restore your metamask wallet in their own device.
So, this is very sensitive, much more sensitive than your password. You must keep them in safe place (preferrably on different pieces of paper, and you store them as safe as you can)
After you save your secret backup phrase, you will be asked by Metamask to confirm that you have actually saved them. Once you finish with this, you will be able to access your wallet.
You might have noticed the metamask animal logo on top right of your browser. Whenever you click that logo, you will be able to access your wallet.
How To Deposit And Send Ethereum With Metamask?
When you access your wallet, this is the kind of UI you are going to see. It’s pretty much straightforward. You will be able to Send Ethereum to another wallet. Or click ‘Deposit’ to access multiple options to fund your account. When you want to accept ETH from other wallets, just click the account address (in my screenshot – Account 1), and it will be automatically copied to the clipboard.
Then, you can put that same wallet address into whatever platform you want to use to withdraw the ETH to this same Metamask wallet (i.e. if you want your friend to send some ETHs to this wallet, you copy-paste this Metamask wallet address and provide it to him)
When you click Send, you will see some options.
To -> Put your recipient wallet address here. Let’s say you want to send Ethereum from your Metamask Wallet to your Binance account, then you copy paste your ETH wallet address on Binance (under Deposit) and you paste it here.
Asset -> for now just choose ‘ETH’. After you add another crypto asset on ethereum blockchain, you can choose that other asset later.
Amount -> It is the amount of ETHs you want to send.
Transaction Fee -> If you don’t want to deal with it, just choose Average. Metamask calculates gas transaction fees automatically based on the traffic on the blockchain. If you want to send it faster (but you pay higher transaction fees), you can choose Fast. Usually, I use https://ethgasstation.info/ in order to find out what’s the current acceptable transaction fees. To put your own gas price numbers, click advanced options. You will be able to customize the gas price (GWEI) by yourself.
How To Deposit And Send ERC20 Tokens With Metamask?
Metamask is not just about ETH but also about other tokens on ethereum blockchain. There are so many important tokens built on top of ethereum such as TUSD, USDC, OMG, and many others. Most of new ICOs and IEOs are built on top of ethereum blockchain and you can use metamask to access, deposit, and send them.
Check above screenshot. Click that top-left button and click Add Token. You will see 2 options. Search and Custom Token. Most tokens are actually not available through the Search function so you should learn how to add custom token by yourself.
When you click Custom Token, you will see above image. Token Contract Address is the token identifier, usually it starts with 0x.. Token Symbol is the token symbol (i.e. OMG, TUSD), and Decimals of Precision is how the token deals with decimals. You don’t have to pay attention to Decimals and even token symbol. As long as you get the token contract address right, usually Metamask just autofill the other two parts.
How To Find Token Contract Address?
Pretty simple. Go to Coinmarketcap and type in the token you want to add to your metamask. Let’s use Maker (MKR) as example. For MKR, you go to: https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/maker/ then click the link to Explorer
After you click it, you will be redirected to etherscan. Using above example (MKR), you will see this page: https://etherscan.io/token/0x9f8f72aa9304c8b593d555f12ef6589cc3a579a2
on Profile Summary, you will be able to see the token contract address (it’s called Contract there) and you will also be able to see Decimals.
You copy paste everything inside ‘Contract’ to your metamask Add Token -> Custom Token -> Token Contract Address. Decimals and Token Symbol should be automatically added. Once you are done, click Next and that’s it!
To Deposit any ERC20 token to your Metamask wallet, you just need to copy-paste your ethereum wallet address. Just like how you receive ETH to the same metamask wallet address. To send ERC20 token, you can click the 3 lines button again (top left of your metamask) and there you will find your tokens. Click the token name, and click Send. Everything else is the same with sending ETH. And yes, to send any ERC20 token, you also need to use small amount of ETHs to pay for transaction fees. So, make sure you have some ETHs in the same ethereum wallet. Preferrably higher than 0.01 ETH.
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