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.
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.
The Edge Plugins page will open. Click Get to install and add the extension.
The extension is added to your browser.
Let’s continue by selecting the MetaMask extension and choosing Start.
then choose create a wallet. This will create our hot wallet, which is connected to the Internet and always available.
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.
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.
After you type and securely store the phrase, click next and enter the phrase as shown below.
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.
The MetaMask wallet appears and you can see your address where your funds will be stored.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once you find the coin, click on the MetaMask symbol and MetaMask will open.
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.
Select the applicable hardware wallet, in this case Trezor.
Click Continue and connect Trezor. Follow the prompts to connect.
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.)
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.