How to set up a MetaMask crypto wallet, your gateway to Ethereum

shutterstock-1854624547.jpg

There is nothing worse than trying to restore a wallet and failing. Always do the homework and testing before sending funds. There is no FDIC insurance in the world of cryptocurrencies.

insta_photos

When you shop online or in a physical store, you have options to pay, either through online apps like PayPal or Apple Pay or using more conventional means like a credit or debit card. These digital equivalents to pulling out your wallet and paying cash are quick and easy. When transacting business on a blockchain, you need a special type of wallet, a cryptocurrency wallet, with which you can buy, trade, sell, and transfer your digital assets on a blockchain.

Perhaps the most popular crypto wallet you will hear about is MetaMask. Its popularity is due in part to its interoperability with virtually all Ethereum-based platforms, and it can connect to more than 3,700 decentralized applications, or dApps, and Web3 services. It can be used as an active wallet (which is always connected to the internet) or as a cold wallet, where it can be connected to hardware wallets like Trezor or Ledger.

Think of the MetaMask wallet as your gateway to all of Ethereum. You can buy Ethereum-based coins like Apecoin, or jump into liquidity pools like $Primate-$APE through Sushiswap. You can even connect MetaMask to platforms like Opensea or LooksRare to buy NFTs.

See also: Crypto Coach: How to Make Money Playing P2E Games

MetaMask is available on iOS and Android platforms and can also be installed as a browser extension on popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Brave, and Edge.

cc-metamask1.png

metamask

In this column I will show you how to connect to NFT platforms like Opensea and add custom ERC-20 tokens to your wallet. (ERC-20 is the technical standard used for smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain for token implementation; an ERC-20 token has the same value and is compatible with other Ethereum-based tokens.)

Also, I will show you how to connect hardware wallets and give you best practices, especially when it comes to MetaMask.

Let’s start.

Let’s start by simply installing MetaMask as a browser extension. The easiest way is to use one of the supported browsers listed above to navigate to MetaMask.io and click Discharge. For this example, I’ll search for MetaMask in Edge, click Discharge Y Install.

cc-metamask2.png

metamask

The Edge Plugins page will open. Click Get to install and add the extension.

cc-metamask3.png

metamask

The extension is added to your browser.

cc-metamask4.png

metamask

Let’s continue by selecting the MetaMask extension and choosing Start.

cc-metamask5.png

metamask

then choose create a wallet. This will create our hot wallet, which is connected to the Internet and always available.

cc-metamask6.png

metamask

Accept the Terms of Use to continue and create a strong eight-character alphanumeric password.

cc-metamask7.png

metamask

Click To create Y next to show your secret recovery phase.

I want to pause here to discuss how important it is to protect your secret recovery phrase or seed phrase. It’s the equivalent of handing someone your debit card Y PIN number. You would never do this. Someone may have your debit card, but without your PIN number, they don’t have access. And just like someone who has your PIN, someone with access to your secret recovery phase can import your wallet, at which point your password is useless. So to be clear:

  • Never, and I mean NEVER, reveal your secret recovery phase to anyone.
  • Never write it in any email.
  • Never give it to a support person.
  • Never store it online.
  • Never, EVER use it unless you’re reinstalling MetaMask, and if you do, always make sure you go to MetaMask.io.

See Also: Crypto Coach: How To Protect Your Seed Phrase

Once you understand the importance of protecting this secret recovery phrase, click below to reveal it.

cc-metamask8.png

metamask

Write it down in a safe place. For the purposes of this post, I’ll share it, but never do this when creating a real wallet.

cc-metamask9.png

metamask

After you type and securely store the phrase, click next and enter the phrase as shown below.

cc-metamask10.png

metamask

Click Confirm Y All ready. You have created a MetaMask wallet.

Let’s take a quick look at the user interface so you understand what you’re seeing. Click on the MetaMask extension.

cc-metamask11.png

metamask

The MetaMask wallet appears and you can see your address where your funds will be stored.

cc-metamask12.png

metamask

If you click on the three dots and Account details, you can change the name of your wallet. I like to call it “Hot”. You can also see your QR code and ETH address. This will be used when you want to send funds to your wallet. Think of it like a home address.

cc-metamask13.png

metamask

You can also copy your address to clipboard to quickly get the address when sending funds from an exchange like Coinbase, Crypto.com, or Binance.US.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the interface, we need to remove the entire extension and restore it using your secret recovery phrase as proof. I don’t like to send money to a wallet before doing this. There is nothing worse than trying to restore a wallet and failing. As your Crypto Coach, I recommend that you always do the work and test before sending funds. There is no FDIC insurance in the world of cryptocurrencies. Do the work up front to protect yourself.

To test the restore process, simply remove and reinstall the extension as shown above. after clicking Startto choose import walletnot Create wallet.

Enter your secure passphrase and a password and click to importand everything is ready.

cc-metamask14.png

metamask

If you click on the Account details, you will see that your wallet has been restored successfully. You are ready to send funds to this address from a cryptocurrency exchange.

NOTE: You can follow this same procedure for mobile to have the same account set up on both mobile and desktop by entering the seed phrase on mobile.

Now that you’ve created your wallet, let’s connect it to Opensea. It couldn’t be easier to do this. Simply navigate to Opensea.io and click To create. Then choose MetaMask and click next.

cc-metamask15.png

metamask
cc-metamask16.png

metamask

Click Connect. Your wallet is now connected to Opensea and you can browse and buy NFTs if you have funds in your wallet.

Crypto Coach Tip:

When you are not using Opensea or any other site, log out of it as a best practice. It adds extra steps but can keep you safe from any Opensea exploitation.

Just click on the three dots, select connected sitesand disconnect Opensea.

cc-metamask17.png

metamask

This process is the same for connecting your MetaMask wallet to any site. Just remember to log out when you’re done. please don’t stay connected.

cc-metamask18.png

metamask

If you need to add custom tokens to MetaMask, such as Apecoin or USD Coin, which is a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, you can do this very easily by navigating to CoinGecko or CoinMarketCap and searching for the coin.

cc-metamask19.png

metamask

Once you find the coin, click on the MetaMask symbol and MetaMask will open.

cc-metamask20.png

metamask

Click add token and your new token appears in the list. In this example, I repeated the process and added USDC, SUSHI, PRIMATE, and USDT.

cc-metamask21.png

metamask

The last part of our guide will explain how to connect a hardware wallet to MetaMask. If you have a Trezor, for example, you can connect it to MetaMask and you will have a cold wallet and a hot wallet. Let’s walk through the steps. First, connect your Trezor to your computer via the USB-C connection. Once connected, open MetaMask, choose the Profile icon on the far right (circle) and click Connect the hardware wallet.

cc-metamask22.png

metamask

Select the applicable hardware wallet, in this case Trezor.

cc-metamask23.png

metamask

Click Continue and connect Trezor. Follow the prompts to connect.

cc-metamask24.png

metamask

You now have a hot wallet and a cold wallet. (I like to rename them “Hot” and “Cold”, but you can call them whatever you want.)

Let’s review some of the best practices. I do all my shopping in my hot wallet. If, for example, I want to buy an Ethereum coin, I send the funds to my Hot Wallet. I buy Ethereum, and if I have, or hold, long-term, I transfer my ETH to my cold wallet for safekeeping. I never expose my (cold) hardware wallet to any site. To prevent the possibility of a hacker accessing my cold wallet, I always unplug my hardware wallet when not in use, as shown earlier in this post.

Also, if I am going to buy an NFT, I send funds to my hot wallet, buy the NFT and then use the transfer function within Opensea to send it to my cold wallet for safekeeping. I never expose my cold wallet and all my possessions to anyone. This also helps if you are tricked into clicking on a fake link to claim or purchase an NFT. If you click on a bogus link (but exposed only your hot wallet), you can take comfort in the knowledge that you haven’t exposed all of your holdings to an exploit.

Let me show you how this would have helped the following user:

In this example, topshotkief.eth went to a fake website, clicked a link to claim a goblin NFT, and approved a smart contract, which removed topshotkief.eth from its assets. If topshotkief had used my method above, he would only have lost what was stored in his hot wallet; your NFT collection would have been safe and intact in your hardware wallet. Never, and I mean NEVER, connect your hardware wallet to any site that exposes your holdings. Use the hot wallet in MetaMask to do all your shopping.

I hope this helps you understand MetaMask better. In future columns, we will build on this knowledge as we dive into liquidity pools and other areas.

We’ve only just begun.


The information presented by Crypto Coach and ZDNet is not intended as individual investment advice and is not tailored to your personal financial situation. It does not constitute investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any particular investment. We encourage you to discuss investment options with your financial advisor before making any investment.

Leave a Comment