Ethereum has been able to create a wide and rich ecosystem of DApps around it. However, the use of these DApps had always been somewhat cumbersome. Something that changed with MetaMask and its ability to simplify the use of DApps thanks to a simple extension for web browsers.

Lto user interaction with DApps of blockchains like those of Ethereum they require a bridge, and that is precisely what MetaMask does. Dappradar is an extension or plugin for web browsers that allows users to easily interact with DApps on the Ethereum blockchain. This is possible, because MetaMask acts as a bridge between DApps and web browsers, facilitating their use and enjoyment.

Thanks to this, users are able to easily use these distributed applications and all in an integrated way from their favorite browser. With support for Firefox, Chrome, Opera y Brave, MetaMask has brought the world of DApps closer to the general public.

However How was MetaMask born? How does it work? What advantages does it offer? We will discuss all of this below.

MetaMask, the birth of a bridge for DApps

MetaMask was developed by two developers, Aaron Davis y Dan finlay. It was they who laid the first foundations for the development of MetaMask in 2016. The idea behind the project was simple and revolutionary. MetaMask would allow users to use their web browser to easily interact with their favorite Dapps, quickly and safely.

For this, MetaMask would use the Ethereum interface and web API, web3.js. This official Ethereum library would be the fundamental foundation of the world of possibilities offered by MetaMask. Thanks to it it would be possible to create a proxy or communication bridge between the DApps, MetaMask and the users.

The work turned out to be quite a technical challenge, especially on the subject of maintaining the necessary security for its users. However, MetaMask accomplished its mission and the July 14, 2016 its first version was presented. At this point, the extension was available for the Chrome browser and derivatives. Later its version for Firefox would be presented, allowing the use of said extension in that browser.

Since then MetaMask has become the easiest way to access DApps through a user-friendly interface. All this without the need to configure absolutely anything.

How does MetaMask work?

MetaMask works thanks to the use of web3.js, a library that is part of the official development of Ethereum. web3.js was created in order to allow the creation of web applications that could interact with the Ethereum blockchain. Thanks to it, web pages and extensions can take advantage of the power of Ethereum and its features.

In that sense, MetaMask was created to be a purse for Ethereum and a tool to interact with DApps. To achieve both tasks, MetaMask establishes a communication channel between the extension and the DApp in question. Once the application recognizes that MetaMask is present, it is enabled and can be used by the user.

With the DApp enabled, the user can perform each and every one of the actions or events that it allows. From the purchase or sale of tokens, to access to resources or any service provided by it. Each and every one of these actions has a cost, one that must be paid in Ethereum or in the token indicated for it. In any case, MetaMask has the necessary tools to handle this interaction.

That is, MetaMask not only generates a cryptocurrency wallet, but controls every user interaction with the DApp, and performs the operations necessary for said operations to be carried out. All this is carried out in a secure means of communication and with the use of strong cryptography. MetaMask has the ability to generate its own asymmetric keys, save them locally and manage their access. Thanks to this, MetaMask is a highly secure extension.

How to install MetaMask?

The installation of MetaMask does not involve major difficulties. As it is a popular and proven browser extension, it is available in the extensions store or repository. In this way, it is enough to access the store of your browser and download it to use it in your preferred web browser.

In the case of Chrome, you can find it here. In case you have a browser derived from Chrome like Opera, Brave or Vivaldi, this extension will work perfectly. If you use Firefox instead, the extension can find it this link. You can also access the extension from the official MetaMask website. It will detect your browser and direct you to the correct link for the installation of the extension

As a warning from Bit2Me Academy we ask you to be very careful with the extensions you install in your browser. Remember that there are many cases of identity theft (phishing) among the extensions, so you must verify very well what is installed. To do this, it is best to use the official media and attend the updates offered officially. These checks will allow you to get the most out of your MetaMask experience.

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  • metamask extension for firefox

Where can I use MetaMask?

Thanks to the wide popularity of MetaMask, there are many Dapps that support interaction through this extension. Among the most popular Dapps that you can access using MetaMask we can highlight:

  1. Decentralized exchanges. Bit2Me DEX it is one of these advanced markets. This type of trading platforms allow us to take advantage of the great potential of blockchain technology in a clear way, completely eliminating the risk of theft by allowing you to have control of your tokens throughout the exchange process.
  2. Applications like CryptoKitties: Buy your kitty and breed it as your best digital pet. CryptoKitties is one of the most popular games in the entire crypto world. You can buy, sell or exchange virtual kittens and earn money thanks to this. Its integration with MetaMask allows you to make full use of the gaming platform.
  3. Prediction markets as Veil Market. This is a well-known prediction P2P market that takes advantage of the Augur, 0x and Ethereum protocols.
  4. Services like Bonfire. Bonfire is an agreement between users to "burn" ETH with the intention of making ETH rarer and more valuable. Each commitment to the contract also gives the user the opportunity to be randomly selected for a prize in ETH. Pledges range from £ 1 to £ 5 depending on the bonfire a user commits to. 55% of the ETH promised to the contract is removed in a coin burn. A coin burn is the process in which each coin is permanently removed from circulation.
  5. Games like 0xUniverse. This is an entertaining RTS type game where you must conquer planets and expand your empire across the galaxy. It is another game that allows the use of MetaMask to interact with all aspects of it.
  6. Type purses MyEtherWallet. This renowned online wallet is also another project that allows the use of MetaMask. In fact, using MetaMask is recommended to add an extra layer of security to the wallet. This is thanks to MetaMask's ability to locally store wallet information.

How much do you know, cryptonuta?

Is MetaMask responsible for the mass use of DApps in Ethereum?

TRUE!

Thanks to the development of MetaMask the DApps in Ethereum suffered a boom in its use and access to the public. Turning the use of DApps into something as simple as installing a DApps has boosted the ecosystem and made it easier for millions of people around the world to access it.

Advantages and disadvantages of MetaMask

Advantages

  1. Created with the web3.js library which guarantees that you will be able to use all the power of Ethereum.
  2. Completely free software, so you can audit your code and enjoy updates and security patches very quickly.
  3. Ability to store private keys locally, fully securing your crypto assets.
  4. It allows the creation of purses by means of HD. This helps users to back up their accounts through the seeds.
  5. It allows the use of several Etherem accounts and networks thanks to the creation of usage profiles.
  6. It has a private mode that offers a high level of security to your account data, thanks to the use of EIP 1102.
  7. Allows you to keep any ERC-20 token in the same wallet. In fact, it allows to store several tokens ERC-20 simultaneously.
  8. It has a high level of integration with sites like Coinbase, shapeshift o MyEherWallet in order to recharge the MetaMask wallet.
  9. Allows the use of nodes Remote or local Ethereum, allowing a high level of security in both cases.
  10. It offers our browser the ability to interact with most DApps.
  11. It has internal protections that block cases of phishing or other attack vectors that endanger its funds.

Disadvantages

  1. The fact that it is an extension for browsers means that they can track all the activity of MetaMask. This is an especially true case for Chrome, as Google performs heavy data mining of all users of its browser.
  2. Despite all the MetaMask protections, this is still an online wallet with all its downsides. A vulnerability in the extension or the browser can jeopardize all your funds.
  3. MetaMask is limited only to interact with the smart contracts and Dapps they point to. You can't do much else, like redoing or writing a new smart contract.
  4. The fact of relying on external networks for its operation adds a point of failure in the security scheme. The extension can be secure, but if the nodes are not only, this can mean the loss or theft of information and user funds.