When you are interested in storing Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens, you are surrounded by options like mobile wallets, hardware wallets, desktop wallet and a few more. But, will you not grab the one that does not only provide you a safe storage but also enables you to get involved with the Dapps powered by Ethereum using your browser? Yes, we are talking about MetaMask, a new horizon of the world of web-based Dapps.
So, what is MetaMask
MetaMask is a kind of browser-extension that has a simple setup procedure and can be installed easily as FireFox add-on or Google Chrome extension. It is available in Opera and in the new Brave browser too. Installing it, you can keep your Ethereum wallet right in your browser. Now you are free to interact with any kind of ERC-20 assets and different Ethereum test networks.
Interaction with MyEtherWallet (MEW)
MetaMask is able to connect and exchange info with MyEtherWallet, the well known Ethereum wallet service. Therefore, you can unlock one by simply logging in to the other. This feature is helpful for those who need to switch frequently or prefer using MyEtherWallet in some cases.
Interaction with Dapps
Just to let you know, Dapps stands for Decentralized applications which run on a peer-to-peer decentralized network like blockchain. Ethereum blockchain also coordinates a few decentralized applications. Many organizations and projects have launched live Dapps already whereas; there are a lot of Dapps that are open for trial and still waiting to come in live. Like many other websites, MetaMask also possesses highly-efficient graphical interfaces. It provides facility to the users to interact with web browser-based apps. Let us have a look at some Dapps to assimilate how their working procedures are and how MetaMask is related to them.
ETHLend: It is a platform based on a smart contract to that makes lending and borrowing of ETH easier. Users are at liberty to put their Ether into a smart contract loan that is collateralized by different ERC-20 tokens. Lenders will regain their ether with interest if the loan is repaid completely. Otherwise, the lenders are allowed to claim the authority of the collateral.
There are also a few online casino games and gambling Dapps using Ethereum blockchain that allows cryptocurrency to make bets and to receive the shares for winning bets. FunFair, CryptoKitties etc are suitable examples of Dapps running on Ethereum blockchain and facilitated by MetaMask.
Safety concern of using MetaMask
Till now, no occurrences of neat hacking and stealing currency have taken place proving that MetaMask is safe to use. Den, an efficient security system implemented by MetaMask, ensures encryption of all kind of local keys keeping them out of reach of the malicious Dapps or hackers. Needless to say that the private keys are under the supervision of the holders; Metamask security is not responsible for the safety of the private keys.
Mist, another project similar to MetaMask is under development with the beta version in stock for the public trial. Farsighted people think that it would be able to compete with MetaMask when it is fully functional.
In a nutshell, MetaMask is obviously a secure, flexible and useful app. But it needs to undergo continuous development in order to retain the top position as it will have to face its rivals in near future.
This video explains it visually.