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Introduction to MetaMask

Tali Kon

Fiat Currency vs Cryptocurrency

Traditionally, transactions with fiat currencies require facilitation from a governing entity, which we today know as the bank. In the world of Crypto however, no central authority facilitates cryptocurrency markets, rather exchanges are done on a peer-to peer basis. Cryptocurrency markets run and exist on a network of computers.

Unlike fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies exist as a digital record of ownership alone and all data is shared on the blockchain. When someone wants to send cryptocurrency to another, they send it to that person’s digital wallet and the transaction is verified only once it has been added to the blockchain.


To send someone cryptocurrency, one must own a digital wallet. One of the most used digital wallets is ‘MetaMask’, also known as an Ethereum wallet. MetaMask allows users to interact on Ethereum based decentralized applications (dApps), whilst having full control over their wallet. One can store, send or receive Ether currency without the need for an intermediary source.

To complete a transaction, one needs ‘approval’ from their digital wallet and thus MetaMask acts as some sort of intermediary source. However, unlike the bank, MetaMask allows dApps to access cryptocurrencies in one’s wallet without being exposed to other personal information. All disclosed information is stored in one’s private key, which is only accessible to the account holder and therefore the account holder has full control over their wallet.

How to set up MetaMask

If you are new to the world of cryptocurrency, the thought of getting involved might seem a tad overwhelming. However, setting up MetaMask and purchasing cryptocurrency is pretty straight forward and takes a couple of minutes. The MetaMask extension is secure and free and allows you to make transactions on Ethereum based dApps.

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If you intend to set up a MetMask wallet on your computer, make sure you have a browser that supports MetaMask such as Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Google Chrome and Brave. 

  1. Download the extension onto your browser – for example Chrome extension
  2. Once you install MetaMask, click ‘Get Started’
  3. Click on ‘Create Wallet’
  4. Create a password for your wallet
  5. You will then see a recovery phrase that you must remember. The recovery phrase is known as a ‘master key’ and is a series of 12 words that will allow you to recover your wallet if you ever forget your password. So.. you can forget your password, but never forget your recovery phrase! 

You must place all the words in the correct order presented to confirm the recovery phrase. 

  1. After the creation of your password and your recovery phrase,your account will show up. You will then have the option to ‘Buy’ , ‘Send’ or ‘Swap’ Ether.
  2. You can buy Ether with your card using the service ‘Wyre’.

Notably, MetaMask is linked to two exchange platforms- Coinbase and ShapeShift. You can directly buy Ether from both of these platforms. 

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