How to set up Metamask? A Simple Step-by-Step Guide

Whether you are looking for a wallet to store your Cryptocurrencies, buy NFTs, or participate in the various DeFi protocols, you will need a crypto wallet. There are many different types of Cryptocurrency wallets, software vs. hardware, custodial vs. non-custodial, and hot vs. cold. The most popular cryptocurrency wallet out there is Metamask. If you are here, you are most likely looking for Metamask: A software-based non-custodial wallet used for hot storage. In this article, I will provide a simple step-by-step guide on how to set up Metamask and transfer funds on the Ethereum network.

Categorizing the different wallets was not meant to be part of this article, and I will write a separate detailed article on this topic. However, I will briefly explain the difference between custodial and non-custodial wallets, as it is essential for new users to understand.

What is a Custodial Wallet?

A Custodial Wallet is defined as a wallet where a third party holds your private keys. The third-party has full control over your funds while you only have to give permission to send or receive payments. You can consider Custodial wallets, the ones provided by cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase.

What is a Non-Custodial Wallet?

A Non-Custodial Wallet is a Blockchain wallet that lets you be your own bank. This implies that users have full control over their funds and the associated private key. To make it crystal clear: you are responsible for your funds. If you lose your private keys or your funds are stolen, lost, or anything, it is your responsibility. Hence, it would be best to be extra cautious when using a non-custodial wallet. However, this gives users great power and control in Web 3.0, and the quote “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility” perfectly fits this situation.

What is Metamask?

Metamask, as we mentioned above, is a software-based non-custodial wallet where you can store your Digital Assets (Cryptocurrencies or NFTs), see the balances of your assets, and makes it extremely easy to interact with the various decentralized applications on the blockchain. By default, Metamask supports the Ethereum network. However, you can easily add support for other EVM-compatible blockchains such as Polygon, Avalanche, etc.

What is Metamask? by Metamask team

Metamask software comes as an extension on your browser or mobile application. As of February 2022, Metamask supports Chrome, Edge, Brave, and Firefox browsers. In this guide, I will provide a step-by-step guide on installing Metamask on the Chrome browser; however, I would expect the installation process to be very similar on other browsers or devices. Regarding mobile devices, you can download Metamask on both iOS and Android devices.

How to set up Metamask?

To set up Metamask, you need to follow eight simple steps. However, there are a few things that you need to take very seriously. The steps are the following:

  1. Go to the Metamask official Website (metamask.io/download/) and click on the button “Install Metamask for Chrome”. The text might be different if you are using a different browser.
  2. For Chrome browser, this will re-direct you to Chrome’s extension website. Then click on the “Add to Chrome” button and then on the following pop-up click “Add Extension”.
  3. Subsiquently, Metamask will appear on the top right corner of your browser. Click on the Metamask icon. It will redirect you to the Metamask set-up process. Assuming you are new to Metamask, click on the “Create Wallet”.
  4. Next, on the “Help Us Improve Metamask” page, read the information provided and decide whether you want Metamask to collect data associated with how you use the App. If you are not sure, then just click “No Thanks”. Although, for usage based data it’s sometimes good to provide them to the service providers to further improve their products.
  5. Next steps are extremely important. On the “Secure your Wallet” page, read all the information provided and watch the video as well. This provide a lot of useful information about your passphrase. Your passphrase is simply your key to your wallet. You need to write it down and store it somewhere very securely, potentially in multiple places. If you ever lose this passphrase, you lose access to your funds. No one can give you access to your wallet if you lose your passphrase; not even Metamask team. You must never give this passphrase to anyone. Giving your passphrase to someone, is like giving him all the assets you have on your wallet. There are many scammers out there and might ask you to give them your passphrase. Never do that. I will repeat again. Never give your passphrase to anyone.
  6. Click on the “Click Here to Reveal your secret words.”. As I mentioned above, write it down and store it somewhere securely.
  7. Once you do that, click “Next”. In the next page, Metamask will ask you to put your passphrase. This is for Metamask, to ensure that you have copied and written down your passphrase.
  8. Congrats! Your Metamask wallet is now ready for use. You can click on the “Account 1” to copy your wallet’s address in order to transfer funds from any exchange you hold your initial funds.

Along with the above steps, you can use the visual process below to help you set up Metamask.

How to Set up Metamask

How to transfer funds to Metamask on Ethereum Network

Once you have Metamask up and running, it’s straightforward to transfer funds from any centralized exchange such as Coinbase, Binance, Kucoin, Gate.io, etc. The steps you need to follow are:

  1. Go to the Cryptocurrency exchange you hold your funds.
  2. Go to the wallet there or account. Some exchanges might call it differently.
  3. Find Ethereum or $ETH and click withdraw. Make sure that the first time you transfer funds on your wallet on Ethereum, you send $ETH. When you are using Ethereum Network you need to pay transaction fees (gas fees). These fees are paid in Ether ($ETH). If you don’t have any Ether on your wallet you won’t be able to execute any transactions.
  4. Next, on the withdraw page of your exchange, you need to provide your wallet address (see step 8 above), the amount you want to withdraw and in some exchanges you might also need to provide the Network. On the network, select Ethereum. Make sure that Ethereum is selected, otherwise you will send your funds on a different network.
  5. That’s it. It might take some time, but your funds will arrive.
  6. If it’s the first time you follow this process, then do a small transaction first to get an understanding of the process and to ensure you did everything correct, before sending any large amounts.
Aris Ioannou
Aris Ioannouhttps://coinavalon.io
Aris created Coinavalon with the purpose of helping the average person navigate the decentralized web. Aris has been passively in the space since 2017 and full time since late 2020. Before Coinavalon, Aris worked as a Business & IT Architect in the financial services sector. Aris holds an MSc in Advanced Computing from Imperial College London, a BSc in Computer Engineering from University of Cyprus and currently pursuing an MBA degree from CIIM.

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