How does MetaMask work? From A to Z

How does MetaMask work? From A to Z

Whenever we decide to trade with cryptocurrencies or complete any other blockchain-related transaction, we need to own a crypto wallet. Each wallet can complete transactions on a specific blockchain. MetaMask is one of these wallets and is built on the most diverse blockchain - Ethereum.

This Ethereum-based wallet is your gateway to everything Ethereum-related. MetaMask wallet is compatible with both smartphones and web browsers. It is available for both IOS & Android and the web browser extension is available for various web browsers such as Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Brave.


Things to Know About MetaMask

  • MetaMask is a user-friendly crypto wallet, which means that no one should have a problem getting the hang of it
  • Information on MetaMask is stored locally, so if you were to switch hardware or software you can import your wallet using a recovery phrase
  • MetaMask provides a function to swap Ether and ERC-20 tokens with each other, similar to swapping services like SushiSwap or PancakeSwap

What Is MetaMask and Why Should We Use It?

Whenever someone holds crypto such as Bitcoin or any blockchain digital asset, they are stored in crypto wallets. These wallets can be split into two categories, hot and cold wallets. Hot crypto wallets are crypto wallets that are connected to the internet and are stored in digital space. Cold wallets are the complete opposite. These wallets are completely disconnected from the web and are stored on hardware such as USB wallets.

MetaMask is a hot wallet. This might be less safe than a cold wallet, but hot wallets are faster to operate, and as long as you have access to the recovery phrase, you can access your wallet from anywhere, while cold wallets such as USBs require you to have the USB on you all the time.

Okay, we now know that MetaMask is a hot crypto wallet that is built on the Ethereum blockchain, but why should we use it?Metamask frontpage.jpg

User-friendly and easy to use

Using MetaMask is an easy process to get started with. When creating your own MetaMask wallet, you don’t need to provide any information or pass any authentication process. All you need is to come up with a secure password and make sure to remember and store your recovery phrase.


When we are using MetaMask, our information is stored locally on our browser. This means that nobody will gain access to your wallet. In case you forgot your password, it is an easy and simple process to recover your wallet, and it is easy only for you. When recovering your wallet you need to provide your secret recovery phrase which is given only to you when creating your wallet. 

But make sure that you save your recovery phrase when you create a MetaMask wallet. If you forget it, and you are logged out of your account, there is no way to recover it. MetaMask leaves the protection of the secret recovery phrases to their users. The best way to do so is to write down a phrase on a piece of paper and keep it in a safe place that you will never forget or print it and put it in a safe.

Constantly growing community

MetaMask has a really fast-growing user base. With the popularization of NFTs and the announcement of the Ethereum merge, demand for Ethereum has risen. MetaMask is the biggest Ethereum wallet with a constantly growing user base. In 2021 Metamask was reported to have 10 million active monthly users and in 2022 this number has grown by 300% and reached 30 million. 

Built-in Crypto store

Whenever we want to purchase cryptos, most people tend to go to different exchanges in order to do so. MetaMask allows users to purchase some of the cryptos that are built on the Ethereum blockchain straight from the wallet.

How to Install MetaMask on Chrome

Metamask supports 5 web browsers. Here we will show you how to install Metamask on the Chrome browser, as it is the world's largest web browser. But installing it on any other supported browser is roughly the same, with minimal differences. 

Adding the MetaMask extension to Chrome

The first step we have to take is to visit the MetaMask website and navigate to the Download tab at the top right. Here the website will automatically detect which browser we are using and will provide us with an extension download link for that browser.

Here we just press Install MetaMask for Chrome and install the extension, just like we would install any other Chrome extension. 

Creating a MetaMask wallet

Once the extension is added to Chrome, we will automatically be taken to the page where we can create a MetaMask wallet. Next, we have to press Get Started. Once we start the process we will be asked if we want to import a wallet or create a wallet. We should select the latter one to register a new wallet. 

After this, we have to come up with a valid password. This password will be needed to access your account only when using the Chrome browser. Accessing your wallet with this password from any other device will not be possible and for that, you will need a secret recovery phrase, which is our next step.MetaMask password.jpg

After you add a password, MetaMask will provide you with a video where they emphasize the importance of the secret recovery phrase and why it is important to protect it. We suggest that you don’t skip this video and give it a watch.

After this, we will be taken to the section of the website where we will be provided with our unique 12-word secret recovery phrase. At first, these phrases will be hidden, and only after we press Reveal Secret Words, we will be shown this phrase. We have to memorize this phrase or write it down and keep it safe. We will also be given the option to download the phrase.MetaMask secret phrase.jpg

The final step we have to take is to select 12 words from our phrase in the correct order. If you were to forget to memorize the phrase, there is a back button at the top left of the screen, and you can go back and memorize or write down the phrase.MetaMask secret phrase conformation.jpg

Once done, we will be given a congratulatory message and our wallets will be ready to use.

MetaMask Functions

Well, we created a MetaMask wallet, but what can we do with it? There are many different functionalities that are implemented in the MetaMask wallet and third-party services which are compatible with MetaMask. Let's take a look at some of them.

Wallet tracking

One thing that everyone should be doing when dealing with cryptos and wallets, is to make sure everything is legit and works fine. 

To verify that your wallet actually exists and is on the Ethereum blockchain, we can use the services of Etherscan. It is a website where you can check different information about any Ethereum wallet if you have its public key. To do this we just have to go to the Etherscan website and search for the wallet by its public key, also known as the wallet address. It should look like this. Since this is a new wallet there is no available data that we can see.Etherscan.jpg

There is also an easier way to access this data. You can check the history of your MetaMask wallet just by clicking three dots and pressing View Account on the Etherscan button.MetaMask acc.jpg

Availability of having multiple accounts

Metamask has many different possibilities and provides a wide range of utilities. Those who use their Metamask wallets for these different activities might prefer to have a few accounts, where they can conduct different activities on different wallets.

These accounts will share the same secret recovery phrase but will have individual private/public keys. If you want to create this additional account, press your icon at the top right. Here you will be given the option to create an account. When you press it, all you will need to do is to name the account. Once done, you will be given a new account with new public and private keys.MetaMask acc.jpg

Public and Private Keys

We have already mentioned public and private keys in this guide. For some these terms might be new and here we will explain what they are used for and their importance.

A public key is what most call a wallet address. This is a unique combination of letters and numbers. This key is used to deposit cryptos on your account from other crypto wallets. This public key is also used to check different transaction histories on the blockchain. Your public key will be shown at the top. The whole key won’t be visible, but once you press it, it will be copied to the clipboard.Public Key.jpg

While on the other hand, the private key is the most sensitive identification key for your wallet. This is pretty much what confirms ownership of the assets on the blockchain. If someone were to gain access to your private key, they will be able to transfer your assets to their wallets.

To see your private key, once again press three dots under your icon. There you will see Account Details and once you press it you will be given the option to export your private key.Metamask private key.jpg

Buying Crypto

As we mentioned before, you are able to purchase Ethereum blockchain-based cryptos straight from MetaMask. To do so, you will need to press the Buy button which is presented on the main menu. There you will be given three deposit options. Two of the three options will be to use Transak and Moonpay services. Fees on transactions will vary depending on which currency you are using for purchase and the amount of crypto you want to purchase. The third option is to deposit straight crypto. If you own crypto on a different wallet and want to transfer it to the MetaMask wallet, you should select this option. But make sure that the crypto you are depositing is supported by MetaMask or you might lose your tokens.MetaMask buy.jpg


Whenever we want to trade one crypto for another, it might be a long and expensive process. There are no crypto trading pairs for every crypto, and we might need to make at least three transactions to turn one crypto into another. 

MetaMask gives users the option to swap many different cryptos, one for another. Yes, there are some big cryptos missing here such as Bitcoin. But if you are only focusing on the Ethereum blockchain as well as some other cryptos, then this feature will be something that you will utilize the most.

MetaMask Swap.jpg

Security Measures We Have to Take

Metamask being a hot wallet means that it is connected to the internet and is not as secure as a cold wallet. The chances of someone hacking into your account are practically impossible, as the Ethereum blockchain and MetaMask wallet are really secure. But there is always a chance of you getting hacked and giving hackers opportunities to take your assets. Because of this, there are a few different security measures that we need to take in order to keep our assets safe.

  • The best way to save your secret recovery phrase is to write it down on a piece of paper and keep it off your computer
  • Secret recovery phrases should not be shared with anyone. MetaMask will never ask you for your phrase and even if they were to, don’t share it with them or anyone else
  • If you hold large amounts of expensive assets, it would be best to keep most of them in a cold wallet such as a USB wallet

Things We Learned From This Guide

  • You can purchase crypto straight from the MetaMask wallet, without the need of using exchange services
  • We should always protect our secret recovery phrase and private keys
  • You can have multiple accounts connected to one wallet, where you can dedicate each account to a different activity

FAQs About MetaMask

Can beginners use MetaMask?

Absolutely. Metamask is a simple-to-use crypto wallet. They have a user-friendly interface, an easy process of registration, and many features which are easy to get the hang of.

How do I withdraw money from MetaMask?

MetaMask does not offer straight fiat withdrawal options. If you want to withdraw money from your Metamask wallet, you need to select a crypto exchange that you like. Once selected, send the crypto from your MetaMask wallet to the exchange and withdraw money using exchange services.

Can I buy Bitcoin on MetaMask?

No. MetaMask operates on the Ethereum mainnet. What this means is that MetaMask only supports crypto which is based on the Ethereum blockchain or different Ethereum-compatible networks. If you were to transfer Bitcoin to your MetaMask wallet, Bitcoin won’t be added to your wallet and tokens will be lost forever.