MetaMask is a secure storage wallet for cryptocurrencies that offers various functionalities, including storing information regarding your cryptocurrencies. Meta Mask provides a safe platform for storing information regarding crypto coins and permits crypto users to link with different blockchains. For instance, Meta Mask can link to both the Ethereum and the BSC networks.
To determine the safety levels of MetaMask, we need to understand how crypto wallets work and how they succeed in providing secure platforms for cryptocurrency storage.
Remember, all cryptocurrencies can only reside in a blockchain network, and therefore, they can’t be withdrawn from it. The implication here is when you utilize the MetaMask wallet; you are keeping vital data regarding your cryptocurrency that resides in their parent blockchain networks, contrary to many who think crypto wallets store actual cryptocurrencies.
Since crypto wallets work, it is evident that a crypto wallet’s ability to integrate with other blockchain networks is vital in providing efficiency to its users. However, the fundamental query is, why do most people opt to use crypto-wallets instead of leaving their cryptocurrencies on crypto exchange accounts like Binance?
The main answer is undoubtedly the safety of their coins. A famous saying among crypto enthusiasts is, “Not your keys, not your crypto.”
Many exchange platforms do not permit crypto owners to have their keys; however, users can access their accounts using a regular password and a two-factor authentication layer. However safe this may be, it is often insufficient for the overall safety requirements to hold crypto for years without being hacked through phishing attacks.
As a result, most crypto holders opt to use a crypto-wallet like the MetaMask wallet by creating a MetaMask account to secure their cryptocurrencies.
So what exactly is MetaMask, and how does this digital wallet differ in safety from crypto wallets provided by exchange platforms?
Types of cryptocurrency wallets – and where does MetaMask fall?
There are multiple cryptocurrency wallets today; all these crypto digital wallet types have unique features. More often than not, cryptocurrency holders are encouraged to have more than one wallet type to have backup information of their cryptocurrencies. Having a backup is a security measure that essentially allows you to access your cryptocurrency from another wallet in case one wallet is hacked.
You don’t want to be the guy who lost the keys to a wallet address with 10 BTC on it, do you?
Having established the different wallet types, and how can we determine which ones are the most secure?
Hardware crypto wallets
Hardware wallets are the most secure type of crypto wallets and are often used by those who hold large amounts of cryptos. They are secure because they cannot be easily hacked due to internet connectivity.
Many hackers rely on internet access to penetrate devices are perform attacks that may expose private keys. As a countermeasure, hardware wallets are only accessible offline and come in hardware devices that look like USB sticks. Examples of these wallets include Ledger Nano X and Trezor Model T.
Paper crypto wallets
Paper wallets are also fairly safe since they also employ the same techniques as hardware wallets; the keys are stored offline. They provide an alternative form of cold storage since there is no internet connection. However, paper wallets are risky since they are easy to lose, or you could easily damage the paper copy by spilling a drink on it. Please don’t!
Desktop crypto wallets
As the name suggests, desktop wallets are cryptocurrency wallets that reside on native devices. In that, they are directly installed on a particular personal computer. The private keys are therefore only accessible on the native desktop. Although they are considered relatively safe, there is still a risk of being hacked through other advanced hacking techniques.
Web crypto wallets
Web wallets are undoubtedly the most common form of crypto wallets, and they are available on several crypto exchange platforms. They are accessible through a browser and are often known as hot wallets since they provide hot storage. Examples of web wallets are Binance hot wallet and the MetaMask wallet.
Image courtesy of Metamask
Metamask is a hot wallet accessible through an application and web browsers. Some examples of supported browsers include Chrome, Brave, and Firefox.
Essentially MetaMask is a browser extension that facilitates the connectivity between the Ethereum blockchain and the web browser being used, therefore acting as an intermediary between the two.
Today, the MetaMask is only available for use with Ethereum; coins on other blockchains are not accessible and not supported.
When using your MetaMask wallet, you can access several features of the Ethereum blockchain through your supported regular browser like Chrome.
Features of the MetaMask App
The MetaMask wallet has a wider range of enticing features for crypto enthusiasts. Ethereum blockchain’s ability to allow smart contracts within its network has given rise to various crypto solutions within its blockchain. Through the decentralized applications, several projects have arisen within its blockchain giving rise to several crypto tokens stored within the MetaMask crypto wallet.
Some outstanding features of the MetaMask wallet include its ability to act as an intermediate between web browsers and the complex Ethereum network. One can easily access the Ethereum blockchain using a web browser through the extension.
As a hot wallet, crypto users are encouraged to use metamask to store ERC-20 tokens and ERC-721 tokens within the Ethereum network.
Ideally, the MetaMask wallet works best with small amounts of cryptocurrencies, and most whales would prefer to use hardware devices to store substantial amounts of cryptocurrencies.
If you are interested solely in the Ethereum blockchain, then hot wallets like MetaMask can prove to be extremely efficient as it is built precisely for that. However, if you want to have a wider range of cryptocurrencies, you may be better off looking for other cold wallet options.
Why do you need MetaMask?
MetaMask is an essential product for any crypto enthusiast. It provides advanced security features for storing ERC-20 tokens safely and provides an efficient way of interacting with the Ethreum blockchain.
MetaMask wallet provides maximum safety from several major hacks malicious web users use to steal cryptocurrencies.
In terms of security, the MetaMask wallet offers HD settings, shorts for Hierarchical deterministic settings. Using this special feature, MetaMask provides seed phrases that are essentially useful in resetting accounts in case of lost information or passwords.
Finally, MetaMask wallet offers the much-required flexibility for purchasing cryptocurrencies directly to your wallet. The crypto wallet is equipped with seamless integration with both ShapeShift and Coinbase, some of the leading cryptocurrency exchange platforms in the industry today.
Security-wise, MetaMask provides functionalities such as two-factor authentication (2FA), multi-signature, pin code, anonymity, backup using a seed phrase, and private key ownership. Let’s look at how it uses these to provide security to its users.
How does MetaMask guarantee your safety?
MetaMask strives to provide adequate is security features to ensure your cryptocurrencies are safe. For instance, the MetaMask wallet stores your cryptocurrency keys locally on your browser and does not store keys anywhere in their remote servers. Is this a good thing? Let’s find out!
The thought process behind storing keys locally on the browser where metamask is installed makes the wallet more secure. Essentially, remote servers can be hacked, and several keys can be exposed, and that’s precisely what MetaMask is trying to avoid.
On the other hand, the idea of storing keys locally on a web browser appears to be risky as well. Phishing attacks can be carried out on individual user browsers, compromising the keys.
Essentially, MetaMask leaves the security of their keys to their users. The security of your keys is solely dependent on how well you protect yourself and your browser from phishing attacks. It is advisable to watch out for potential phishing emails or websites that may attempt to access your keys.
When MetaMask user successfully protects their computer from such attacks, they are guaranteed the safety of their coins.
In essence, the safety of your tokens in the MetaMask wallet depends on how well you keep your keys safe from phishing attacks. If you keep your keys safe, you’ll never lose your crypto coins.
MetaMask guarantees users the security of their cryptocurrency tokens, provided they keep the keys safe. Armed with several security features, including but not limited to 2FA, using seed phrases for backups, allowing owners to store their private keys, multi-signature, pin codes, and significant anonymity levels allow the crypto wallet provider to offer relatively safe crypto storage services.
MetaMask compatibility with other blockchains
Image courtesy of Metamask
The MetaMask wallet has one major shortcoming: it only links with a single blockchain. The wallet can only store ETH and ETH-based coins, locking out cryptocurrency holders who want to store a broader range of tokens.
Therefore, the wallet limits cryptocurrency users operating on other blockchain networks but works perfectly for cryptocurrency holders interested in ERC coins.
Compared to other hot wallets in the market, this is a major downfall since it limits crypto holders, unlike other crypto wallets that allow cryptocurrency enthusiasts to store nearly all types of coins from different blockchain networks.
As earlier discussed, there are various types of crypto wallets, and local storage wallets are often regarded as safer. Essentially, most crypto wallets utilize high-tech security features considerably due to cryptocurrencies’ nature.
Hot wallets like MetaMask are relatively safer than exchange platform wallets like Binance’s. However, MetaMask is certainly not the safest crypto wallet in the market today.
In a nutshell, although MetaMask provides a safe way to store cryptocurrencies within the ethereum blockchain, the user needs to keep their private keys safe. If private keys are compromised, there is a risk of losing all crypto savings on your metamask wallet.
Is MetaMask safe?
Yes. In general, MetaMask is a safe crypto wallet with impressive integration with other wallets and the Ethereum network. The safety of the crypto coins in the metamask wallet is entirely dependent on how safe the user keeps their private keys.
Does MetaMask support several blockchains?
No. the MetaMask crypto wallet only has support for the Ethereum blockchain. The cryptocurrency wallet allows support for ETH-based tokens such as ERC-20. Also, it can store Ether, Ethereum’s native digital currency.
Why should I use MetaMask?
It would be best to use MetaMask to store only ETH-based cryptocurrencies and ETH itself. Also, this cryptocurrency wallet is useful if you want to access your wallet through your web browsers and access easy buying options through integrated exchanges like Coinbase that allow MetaMask users to purchase cryptocurrencies efficiently to their wallets.
Is MetaMask secure?
Yes. The MetaMask is secure since there hasn’t been any known major attack on the crypto wallet provider, leading to several people losing their digital assets. However, although the platform has not been hacked directly, phishing attacks can still be used to access individual crypto wallet information if users are not careful. Since MetaMask trusts its users to secure their private keys, there is a risk of breaching into these wallets if private keys are exposed.
Remember, this does not reflect a security flaw on MetaMask’s side, however, on the user’s side. It’s reminiscent of giving out your password to someone else.
Can I be hacked on MetaMask?
Today, the MetaMask platform has not experienced any know hack that led to the loss of crypto coins for its users. However, malicious attacks can be directed to individuals with MetaMask extensions installed on their browsers to obtain their private keys.
Since these keys are stored locally, MetaMask cannot protect these keys from these attackers; rather, it is the responsibility of the wallet owner to keep their keys safe. If the keys are compromised, the attackers can log in to the MetaMask accounts and transfer your coins.
Can I have several accounts on MetaMask?
Yes, the MetaMask software is capable of accommodating several wallets. You can have more than a single wallet on the MetaMask platform and store different cryptocurrency coins. The feature also provides an efficient way to organize your crypto coins according to your financial needs.