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The bottom line: MetaMask is a cryptocurrency wallet made specifically for tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. It’s available as a browser extension and mobile application, which you can use to buy, sell and swap coins and access decentralized applications, or dapps. Staking is available directly from the wallet with third-party integration, and non-fungible token, or NFT, marketplaces are available on the mobile app.
Pros & Cons
Supports ERC-20 coins and dapps on the Ethereum blockchain.
Dapp access includes staking tools and NFT marketplaces.
Purchases are available with ACH transfer, card payments and digital wallets, including PayPal.
No desktop application.
Doesn’t support non-Ethereum coins such as Bitcoin.
Table of Contents
Where MetaMask shines
Web3 functionality: MetaMask allows users to buy, trade and earn rewards on cryptocurrency and NFTs without having to leave their assets in the custody of a centralized exchange.
Conversion to cold storage: Users can transfer their tokens to hardware wallets, including Trezor and Ledger, from the MetaMask browser extension.
Open-source software: MetaMask code is open source, so developers and users can look under the hood to test its security.
Where MetaMask falls short
Selection: MetaMask stores only tokens built on the Ethereum blockchain. This doesn’t include well-known coins such as Bitcoin, so if you’re storing non-Ethereum tokens, you’ll need a more general-purpose wallet.
What MetaMask is best for
People who need mobile or browser-based hot storage of Ethereum-supported assets.
MetaMask at a glance
MetaMask software is open source. The wallet does not use two-factor authentication or multisignature access.
MetaMask supports Ethereum and any ERC-20 Ethereum-based token, of which there are more than 500,000.
MetaMask supports swaps and purchases. NFTs can be bought on the mobile app, and staking is available directly from the wallet with third-party software integration.
MetaMask is a hot wallet that can convert to dedicated offline storage devices, including Trezor and Ledger.
MetaMask has a highly rated mobile app. It also has a browser extension but no desktop application.
MetaMask has some educational basics available on its website to help users navigate the wallet and the Ethereum blockchain.
Full details about MetaMask's ratings
Security: 3 out of 5 stars
MetaMask is a self-custody wallet, which can have advantages over storing crypto on an exchange: Your crypto won’t be lost if there’s a hack or if the exchange fails. However, if you lose your security information like your password and recovery phrase, you could lose access to your crypto because the wallet won’t keep a record of your backup information like an exchange does.
MetaMask is fully open source, so developers can use the software to write applications and verify the security of the code. The wallet does not use two-factor authentication for security reasons and is not multisignature, which is a security measure that requires multiple wallets to approve a transaction.
Selection: 4 out of 5 stars
MetaMask can support Ethereum and any of the more than 500,000 tokens built on its software. However, it does not support assets created outside the Ethereum system.
Integration: 4 out of 5 stars
With MetaMask, you can buy, sell and swap tokens directly from your wallet. MetaMask supports Ethereum (ETH) and all tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, which includes over 500,000 ERC-20 assets. NFTs are available only on mobile. Staking can be done directly from the wallet with integrated third-party software.
Storage: 5 out of 5 stars
MetaMask is a software, or hot, wallet, which means it stores the keys to your crypto assets using software on an internet-connected device.
For additional offline security, the software has a feature that allows users to convert cryptocurrency to cold storage devices sold by five companies: Trezor, Ledger, AirGap Vault, Keystone and Lattice.
Conversion is available only with the browser extension.
Functionality: 3 out of 5 stars
MetaMask can be accessed through a mobile app or browser extension, though there’s no desktop application available.
Tools: 2 out of 5 stars
MetaMask has some educational content on its website to help users navigate the wallet and the Ethereum blockchain, including staking and dapps.
Other details you should know about MetaMask
Pricing: MetaMask is free to use, though you’ll have to pay a fee for certain services. Swapping tokens costs a service fee of 0.875% per swap, which MetaMask says goes toward funding the software’s development.
You'll also pay fees assessed by the blockchain networks that support your cryptocurrency, which can vary significantly depending on market conditions and which asset you're using. However, because you can buy crypto directly through MetaMask, you’ll only have to pay Ethereum gas fees once, instead of paying fees when you buy on an exchange, then again when you transfer to a wallet.
Is MetaMask right for you?
If you’re looking for a software wallet to connect to decentralized finance applications on the Ethereum blockchain — and you don’t need to store non-ETH tokens — MetaMask is a good option.
How we review crypto wallets
NerdWallet's comprehensive review process evaluates and ranks products that allow U.S. customers to store, send and receive cryptocurrency. We aim to provide our independent assessment of providers to help arm you with information to make sound, informed judgments on which will best meet your needs. We adhere to strict guidelines for editorial integrity.
We conduct firsthand testing and observation, and the results fuel our proprietary assessment process that scores each provider's performance across more than 15 factors. The final output produces star ratings from poor (1 star) to excellent (5 stars).
For more details about the categories considered when rating wallets and our process, read our full methodology.
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