Note: This is not financial advice. This is for educational purposes only. Please note that cryptocurrency is a highly volatile asset class; only invest what you can afford to lose.
Setting up a Metamask wallet is a rite of passage for all crypto investors. This popular Web 3.0 wallet lets you hold a wide variety of digital assets, buy and sell NFTs on OpenSea, purchase meme tokens on PancakeSwap and Uniswap, and send and receive crypto.
So what, exactly, is a Metamask wallet? It's an online wallet that mainly holds Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens (cryptocurrencies that run on the Ethereum blockchain like Shiba Inu), but it also supports tokens on other blockchains, including Avalanche, Polygon, Harmony ONE, Binance Smart Chain and more.
It's worth noting that Metamask does not support native Bitcoin nor the Bitcoin network. In other words, no, you cannot use Metamask to store your BTC. Sorry! However, the Metamask is a portal to the vast crypto world, and in my opinion, it's a necessary tool for all investors, whether you're a seasoned trader or a doe-eyed beginner.
Read on to figure out how to get started with Metamask and set up a wallet with the Web 3.0 platform.
How to setup a Metamask wallet
Metamask is, first and foremost, a browser extension. It supports Firefox, Brave and Microsoft Edge. It's also compatible with Android and iOS via the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, respectively, However, in this tutorial, Google Chrome will serve as the exemplar.
1. Go to Metamask's official website here and click on "Install Metamask for Chrome."
2. You should now be on Metamask's Chrome Web Store page. Click on "Add to Chrome."
3. A pop-up entitled "Add 'Metamask?'" should appear. Click on "Add Extension."
4. A new tab will appear. Click on "Get Started."
5. Click on "Create a New Wallet" under "Yes, let's get set up!"
6. Metamask will then ask whether it can gather your usage data. If you accept, click, "I Agree." If not, click, "No Thanks." Selecting the latter will not affect your ability to move forward in the set up process.
8. You'll be guided to watch a short video on how to secure your Metamask wallet, which involves a writing down and storing a secret recovery phrase (a string of 12 words that gives you, or anyone else who has it, access to your Metamask wallet and its contents). Hit "Next."
9. You'll land on a page that has your 12-word recovery phrase. Click on the greyed out area to reveal it. Once you've written it down, hit "Next."
*Warning* Do not, under any circumstances, give out your recovery phrase to anyone. You should also keep a copy of your recovery phrase, but put it somewhere safe. If your computer crashes, and you don't have your recovery phrase, you won't be able to access your Metamask wallet.
10. Confirm your secret recovery phrase by putting the 12 words in the right order. Click "Confirm."
11. Once you've completed step 10, you'll land on a page that says, "Congratulations!" You officially have a Metamask wallet that's ready to go. Click on "All done."
Now, you can use Metamask to buy eye-catching NFTs, link your wallet to a blockchain-based game, send crypto to friends, and more. The Web 3.0 world is now yours to explore. Although Metamask claims to be secure, I'm not convinced. I recommend getting a hardware wallet (e.g. Ledger Nano S or Nano X) to manage your funds.
Stay tuned for our review of the new Nano S Plus.
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Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!