Not your keys, not your crypto.
Ever heard of this quote while venturing into cryptoverse? Turns out that this truth is learnt by the crypto heads the hard way. With the current onset of the dominos effect in crypto where Celsius, 3AC and Vauld have fallen after the great demise of the Terra ecosystem, it is extremely important that you own your crypto in the true sense. Ownership lies at the heart of any web3 ecosystem.
Well, if you are confused about the rant above, let me help you out with some context. Did you ever buy crypto off an exchange and felt like a proud owner of this new digitally savvy and hot asset class? Well, think again. Because what you just purchased, was not even a Blockchain transaction. Yes. It is exactly what your banks do when you send over some money to your friend. A debit here, a credit there and viola! This is very similar what a centralized exchange does while you buy your favourite crypto.
In a nutshell, your crypto wallet is held safely (at least they claim so) with the exchange. They are running the show on your behalf. So the next obvious question is how do I get back in control. And that’s exactly what we intend to discuss today. How to set up your first ever self-custody wallet: Metamask.
What is Metamask:
First thing first. While a lot of people call it a wallet, it is actually not. It is a UI frontend that shows what cryptos are associated with your private keys. Your crypto is stored on Blockchain and not the wallet. Moving on, likes of Metamask are called custodial wallets. Why? Because you own the private keys of this wallet. Every time a transaction happens, you sign it. If you don’t transaction cannot go through.
Here’s another fun fact. Since you are in total control of the assets (Crypto/NFT) in your wallet, no one can take them from you. Not even governments! GM right? Let us find out how to setup Metamask wallet.
How to Setup Metamask wallet?
Metamask sits as a browser extension in your Chrome/Brave/Firefox/Opera browser. Therefore it is very easy to install it.
Step 1: Download and Install
Let us take it from the top, eh? We start by downloading this wallet. Head over to this link and based on your system, hit the ‘Install MetaMask for XYZ’ button.
Once installed, it will subtly slide into your extension bar. It is advised to pin it to the toolbar so that you can see it all the times.
Step 2: Create the wallet
Once you tap on your newly installed extension, you would enter a URL that looks something like the one shown below:
If you are existing user (which at this point you may be not) you need to select the ‘import wallet’ option. For now, please go ahead with ‘create wallet’.
Post that, you would be asked to agree with a small disclaimer and prompted to setup a password. This password might be way more important than your social media password as it has monetory implications. So it is advised to write it down on a piece of paper rather than storing it digitally.
Every time you open your Metamask wallet, you would have to use this password.
Step 3: Secret Recovery Phase
Welcome aboard. This is where the fun begins. In this screen you would be shown a 12 word secret phrase comprised of random words. This secret phrase is of utmost importance as it can make or break your wallet. If you wish to move your wallet to a different device, this secret code is a must have.
Now please don’t be another noob who saves this code on their desktop. Please write it down on a piece of paper with multiple copies to store it.
In the very next step, you would have to reproduce this phrase to ensure that you have noted it down in a safe place.
Step 4: Adding Binance Smart Chain to Metamask
If you are still following, congratulations! You have successfully setup your Metamask wallet. But it currently shows Ethereum Blockchain only. And as you know, Ethereum is notorious for exorbitant gas fee. So let us add something that is easy on the pocket. Enter: Binance Smart Chain or BSC.
Unless you add BSC, needless to say, you cannot transact in BEP20 tokens. ERC20 is going to be your only friend.
Tap on the metamask icon and press ‘add network’ button.
It is going to take you to a window that looks something like the image below:
Here are the exact details that need to be filled in each of these columns.
Network Name: Smart Chain
New RPC URL: https://bsc-dataseed.binance.org/
Block Explorer URL: https://bscscan.com
Once done, click on save and viola! You have added BSC to your Metamask wallet.
Go nuts, do whatever. Most importantly, stay safe and have fun.
Let me know in the comments section below. If this article adds value to your life, please consider sharing it with your friends using the links below.
Until next time..
While the wallet helps you manage your crypto, it is missing an important layer. Wouldn’t it be nice if your wallet could send you important notifications? Some quick updates. That’s exactly what EPNS does!
EPNS is a decentralized communication protocol for Web3! Using which any dApps, smart contracts, backends or protocols can send comm (starting with on-chain / off-chain / gasless notifs) tied to user wallet in an open, gasless, multichain and platform-agnostic fashion. The open comm layer allows any crypto wallet/frontend to tap into the network and get the comm across.
This post is sponsored by EPNS.
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