MetaMask

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MetaMask
MetaMask Fox Logo
Developer(s)ConsenSys
Initial release2016; 6 years ago (2016)
Operating systemiOS
Android
PlatformBrowser extension
Mobile app
TypeCryptocurrency wallet
Websitemetamask.io

MetaMask is a software cryptocurrency wallet used to interact with the Ethereum blockchain. It allows users to access their Ethereum wallet through a browser extension or mobile app, which can then be used to interact with decentralized applications.[1][2] MetaMask is developed by ConsenSys Software Inc., a blockchain software company focusing on Ethereum-based tools and infrastructure.[3][4]

Overview[edit]

MetaMask allows users to store and manage account keys, broadcast transactions, send and receive Ethereum-based cryptocurrencies and tokens, and securely connect to decentralized applications through a compatible web browser or the mobile app's built-in browser.[5][6] Developers achieve a connection between Metamask and their decentralized applications by using a JavaScript plugin such as Web3js or Ethers to define interactions between Metamask and Smart Contracts.

The Metamask application includes an integrated service for exchanging Ethereum tokens by aggregating several decentralized exchanges (DEXs) to find the best exchange rate. This feature, branded as MetaMask Swaps, charges a service fee of 0.875% of the transaction amount.[7]

As of November 2021, MetaMask's browser extension had over 21 million monthly active users, according to Bloomberg.[8]

History[edit]

MetaMask was created by ConsenSys in 2016.[3]

Prior to 2019, MetaMask had only been available as a desktop browser extension for Google Chrome and Firefox browsers. Given the popularity of MetaMask among cryptocurrency users, and its lack of an official mobile app for several years, instances of malicious software posing as MetaMask became problematic for Google in regulating its Chrome Web Store and Google Play platforms.[9][10][11] In one instance, Google Play unintentionally removed MetaMask's official beta app before reverting the decision a week later on January 1, 2020.[12]

Starting in 2019, MetaMask began releasing mobile app versions for closed beta testing, followed by their official public release for iOS and Android in September 2020.[2][5]

During October 2020, MetaMask Swaps, a built-in DEX aggregation service was added to the desktop extension. The product became available on mobile devices in March 2021.[7]

Criticism[edit]

While MetaMask and other "web3" focused applications aim to decentralize control over personal data and increase user privacy, critics have pointed to the potential for MetaMask's browser extension to leak identifiable information to data collection networks and web trackers as a fundamental flaw.[3][13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Johnson, Steven (2018-01-16). "Beyond the Bitcoin Bubble (Published 2018)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  2. ^ a b Schroeder, Stan. "Crypto wallet MetaMask finally launches on iOS and Android, and it supports Apple Pay". Mashable. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  3. ^ a b c EST, Adam Piore On 11/19/18 at 5:09 PM (2018-11-19). "How blockchain technology could help us take back our data from Facebook, Google and Amazon". Newsweek. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  4. ^ Popper, Nathaniel (2016-03-28). "Ethereum, a Virtual Currency, Enables Transactions That Rival Bitcoin's (Published 2016)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2016-07-24. Retrieved 2020-12-08.
  5. ^ a b Leising, Matthew (2 September 2020). "MetaMask's Blockchain Mobile App Opens Doors For Next-Level Web". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  6. ^ Jaffe, Justin. "How to keep your cryptocurrency safe". CNET. Retrieved 2020-11-12.
  7. ^ a b Schroeder, Stan (2021-03-17). "Crypto wallet MetaMask now lets you swap tokens on your phone". Mashable. Retrieved 2021-06-26.
  8. ^ "Third Point, Marshall Wace Back Crypto Firm ConsenSys".
  9. ^ Goodin, Dan (2019-02-09). "Google Play caught hosting an app that steals users' cryptocurrency". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  10. ^ Cimpanu, Catalin. "Exclusive: Google removes 49 Chrome extensions caught stealing crypto-wallet keys". ZDNet. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  11. ^ Varshney, Neer (2018-06-12). "Google should learn from Apple's cryptocurrency guidelines". Hard Fork | The Next Web. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  12. ^ Beedham, Matthew (2020-01-03). "Google lifts ban on Ethereum wallet app it thought was mining cryptocurrency". Hard Fork | The Next Web. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  13. ^ Canellis, David (2019-03-22). "PSA: MetaMask reveals your Ethereum address to sites you visit, here's how to hide it". Hard Fork | The Next Web. Retrieved 2020-11-30.