This is quite a comprehensive guide - for those that want to dive in depth
‘Curiosity doesn’t kill the fox. It empowers it!’
Metmask is an extension that allows you interface with Ethereum directly from your browser. A powerful and useful tool that enables many applications that have some degree of interface with Ethereum.
You can use Metamask as an extension with Google Chrome and Opera. If you use the Brave browser - this is a feature that is already enabled. Google Chrome is usually the choice for most. Note: This is not for Mobile (yet).
Once you have installed the extension or enabled it in Brave you should see it on the top right of your browser.
Here is a video to get started:
What can you do with Metamask exactly? - Message signing - Transfer ether and tokens right from your browser - Interact with applications using ethereum
Enter a password for your account
IMPORTANT: Save these 12 words shown somewhere safe. This will be the ONLY way to restore your Metamask account. Here are a few recommendations.
Digital copy saved locally, NOT on a cloud platform like Google Drive
2 physical copies - print or write them out and put them in separate locations
Read the Privacy Notice and click ‘Accept’:
Your account is created!
If you already have an Ethereum wallet (created it from a local Ethereum node, or somewhere online like MyEtherWallet/MyCrypto) then you will either have a private key or a JSON file that was given to you. You can use this with your Metamask account that you created earlier in this guide.
Step 1: Log in to Metamask (if not already logged in)
Step 2: Click the Icon on the top-right of Metamask - it should bring up a menu - click on ‘Import Account’
Step 3 or 4: If you have a private key - enter it in the field, if you have a JSON file upload it. Once you click ‘Import’ your wallet will be saved.
MetaMask uses a crypto-community standard to generate seed phrase, which is similar to those applied across a number of software and hardware. When you create a vault with MetaMask, a randomly generated 12-word seed phrase will be assigned to you. These seed phrase in turn, could generate accounts and private keys. You should have backed this up when you first. If not - here is how to back it up.
Step 1: Click the Icon on the top-right of Metamask - it should bring up a menu - click on ‘Settings’
Step 2: Scroll down and click on ‘Reveal Seed Words’
Step 3: Enter your password
Step 4: View your seed words and write them down or save to CSV
Step 1: Click ‘Deposit’ on the home screen of Metamask (when logged in)
Step 2: Go to view account
Step 3: Use the QR Code or Address to make a deposit depending on what service you are using
Optional: Scroll down and use Shapeshift if you are using it to fund your account
Step 1: Click ‘Send’ on the home screen of Metamask (when logged in)
Step 2: Choose or add the recipient's address , and the amount to send
Step 3: Select/set the gas fee then click save, and next to confirm your transaction
When you hear gas, the person is either talking about:
The total cost of a transaction (the "TX fee") is the Gas Limit * Gas Price. Typically, if someone just says "Gas", they are talking about the "Gas Limit".
You can think of the gas limit like the amount of liters/gallons/units of gas for a car. You can think of the gas price as the cost of that liter/gallon/unit of gas.
With a car, it's $2.50 (price) per gallon (unit).
With Ethereum, it's 20 GWEI (price) per gas (unit).
To fill up your "tank", it takes...
10 gallons at $2.50 = $25
21000 units of gas at 20 GWEI = 0.00042 ETH.
Therefore, the total TX fee will be 0.00042 Ether.
Sending tokens will typically take ~50000 gas to ~100000 gas, so the total TX fee increases to 0.001 ETH - 0.002 ETH.
When you purchase a token, you need to add this token to your wallet to ‘view’ the token. Doing this is relatively straightforward.
Step 1: Click the menu item on the top right a menu will open up
Step 2: Click ‘Add Token’
Step 3 or 4: If the token does not appear when searched for then go to ‘Custom token’ and add the fields which you can find in the ‘Registered ICO’s’ section of your Investor Dashboard
Step 1: Click the menu item bar on the top right to see the balance of tokens (You would have added them in the above step) and select it
Step 2: Click ‘Send’
Step 3: Enter the recipient address, amount of tokens to send and select the gas fee then click ‘Next’
Step 4: Confirm your transaction by clicking ‘Confirm’
Clicking the name of your account when you are logged in will automatically copy your address to the clipboard
What is message signing exactly?
Ever had to do some kind of banking authorization - where a company sent over a couple of cents to verify you owned an account?
Message signing works in a similar way - allowing the owner of a wallet to send a piece of data to the Ethereum blockchain - thereby proving that you own your wallet!
Here is an example of how this is used within your iComply Investor Account:
Step 1: Add a new Wallet
Step 2: Choose to ‘Sign using Metamask’ and copy your address into the field and click sign
Step 3: A pop up will appear asking to sign a piece of data. Clicking ‘Sign’ will allow you to verify this data and prove you own your wallet.
In MetaMask, there are two types of accounts. The one(s) you create with your MetaMask wallet, as well as the ones you import. Imported accounts are those that you generate with seed phrase outside of MetaMask. For more, please read this.
When you restore MetaMask from seed phrase, MetaMask accounts would be restored too. Imported accounts have to be restored manually.
If you are using MetaMask with other extension/website/wallet, we are independent.
While MetaMask could interface with other wallets such as MyEtherWallet, they are separately managed Ethereum wallets. That means, the wallet you create on My Ether Wallet for example, and the one you do on MetaMask separately, are not connected. You need to manage them separately and make sure you do not confuse the backup keys/phrases for both.
Same if you are using MetaMask with an exchange like Coinbase, please make sure that you are aware of this and have your accounts properly backed up.
In the New User Interface, MetaMask allows you to enable blockies identicon in “Settings”. It is an unique image (identicon) randomly generated by the seed phrase. It could be used to represent a MetaMask wallet address.