Metamask is an open source software known as the leading non-custodial wallet for Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens. In fact, Metamask also supports NFT and any blockchain compatible with “ Ethereum Virtual Machine " , now we will see how to add them . The interesting thing about this crypto-wallet is that it was born as a desktop browser extension and therefore has high fluidity when interacting with smart contracts and De-Fi applications. For this reason, knowing how to interact with Metamask is very important for everyone who intends to use it as a wallet and for those who want to access decentralized applications.
How to get started with Metamask
Getting started is very simple: you need to go to the official page https://metamask.io/ (caution: there are many scam sites that offer fake apps) and download the extension for the browser you are using. The extension is available for Brave, Chrome, Edge and Firefox. Subsequently, by clicking on “ First steps", Metamask will ask you if you want to create a new wallet or import another existing one. In the first option, a Seed and a new wallet will be created, while in the second it is possible to enter 12 or 24 words of another wallet to import it into Metamask. By choosing to create a new wallet, you will also be asked to set a new password that will be used to access Metamask from the computer it is installed on. To have access in case of uninstalling or changing the computer you always need Seedphrase (don't forget to make a backup copy ). The wallet is now ready for funding, but in its current form only supports ERC-20 tokens. To access the Binance Smart Chain, for example, you need an additional step, which we will see later.
Safety and risks
Before proceeding, it is good to dwell on some key concepts. First of all, it should be noted that if you don't have your wallet's passphrase, you don't have access to the funds it contains . Therefore, before moving the liquidity into it, it is a good idea to make a backup copy of the seeds. It follows that whoever possessed those 12 or 24 words actually had access to your wallet, and for that reason they should be kept safe. Never share your opening phrase with anyone . Additional attention should be paid to the fact that there are various cheat methods regarding browser extensions and for this reason it is good to keep only the liquidity you intend to use in Metamask, for the rest there are cold wallets.
Unfortunately, Metamask assumes that there is an internet connection during its use, and that, in the world of crypto, is not synonymous with security. The exposure of the addresses on the screen actually, along with the possible presence of malware, makes these operations risky. To avoid this, it is possible to connect cold wallet with Metamask and sign transactions with it. The transaction signing process done from a cold wallet is always safer than using the regular Metamask hot wallet. To connect it, just select the appropriate option during installation and confirm it from the cold wallet app as well. Metamask will read the balance inside, interact with Dapps, but the final signature will be done offline and securely.
How to add a network
Now let's see how to add a network to Metamask so we can connect it to other EVM-compatible blockchains. I already state that some are not compatible with this wallet at all, among which we find: Solana, Cosmos and Terra. Some of the main networks that can be added are BSC, Polygon, Avalanche and Arbitrum . To add them, you need to open the browser extension, click on " Main Ethereum Network " and select " Custom RPC ". The fields will now appear populated and must be filled in differently for each network you intend to add. Below is a list of the different settings.
Binance Smart Chain:
Network Name: Smart Chain
New RPC URL: https://bsc-dataseed.binance.org/
Block Explorer URL: https://bscscan.com
Once you're done, just give Okay and Metamask is ready to interact with the new networks and Dapps you want to use.
Metamask is a tool for navigating the decentralized network, knowing how to use it is essential if you want to interact with it. There are many other networks in which it is possible to configure, I have reported here only the main ones. I remind everyone who decides to install and use Metamask to read and study its operation thoroughly and understand it before transferring funds. I hope this was a useful guide for those who want to learn how to use one of the most popular wallets.