MetaMask - Google Chrome Extension

The MetaMask browser extension turns Google Chrome into an Ethereum browser, letting websites retrieve data from the blockchain, and letting users securely manage identities and sign transactions. When you first start up MetaMask, you are given a seed phrase that can be used to restore all of the accounts you ever create within MetaMask.

How Do You Use MetaMask?

You can switch the current account with the switch account button at the top right-hand corner, and you can add more accounts at the bottom of the account list. Your account vault is encrypted and locally stored in your browser, meaning no account information ever touches our services. However, with your secret phrase, you can easily restore your vault with the same account, even with other browsers.

At first glance, MetaMask enables you to send Ether like a normal wallet application, but MetaMask's true strength lies in enabling your browser to visit Ethereum enabled websites. Here's a simple Ethereum distributed app or Dapp, called Tokens, that lets you easily deploy your own currency. When you visit a Dapp like Tokens with MetaMask installed, that website has access to the Ethereum blockchain via the standard Web3 Javascript API. When it wants to write to the blockchain, it asks Web3 to send the transaction prompting MetaMask to ask for user confirmation.

How Does MetaMask Work?

After you submit a transaction, wait for the next block for the change to be reflected on the website, and there it is! Now I have my own MetaMask coins! I can check your balance, or if I want to send some to another account, I can click the copy link, see that it has none and then send it some MetaMask Coins. This has bee nice, but it's all been on the Morden test net. I can always switch what network I'm working on, say the main network, and I'm ready to issue a token with the full security of the main Ethereum blockchain. MetaMask connects to these blockchains with no synchronization time because MetaMask hosts blockchain nodes by default. You can always point MetaMask at your own Ethereum RPC Server, and then fully control your connection to the blockchain.

Is MetaMask Safe to Use?

And that's how MetaMask let's ordinary websites talk to a trusted Ethereum provider, all while letting the user store and manage their own private keys.

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