Koia Team
May 10, 2022

MetaMask: crypto wallet & gateway to blockchain apps.

For many first-time crypto users, MetaMask is their first experience with a digital wallet. To explain what Metamask does, it might be easier to explain what a crypto wallet is used for first.

Crypto Wallets

Crypto Wallets - What Are They? 

Let’s take your normal wallet, the one in your back pocket or purse. It might hold an ID card, actual cash and your credit cards to access funds? Digital wallets – also known as crypto wallets, store your private keys. Users can send, receive, and spend digital money.

When it comes to crypto wallets, they technically don’t actually store your crypto. Your holdings live on the blockchain.

Those funds can only be accessed using a private key. Similar to a password, the private key is made up of a string of letters and numbers like a complex code (Insert the Matrix). Your keys prove your ownership of your digital money and allow you to make transactions or browse and use DeFi applications.


Crypto wallets come in many forms, from physical hardware wallets that look like USB sticks such as Ledger and Trezor, all the way to mobile apps and browser extensions like MetaMask Wallet and Coinbase Wallet.

Which crypto wallets can I use? 

Hot or Cold Crypto Wallets - Trezor & Ledger

There are two ways to distinguish different types of crypto wallets, the first distinction being how your private keys are stored and the second being whether or not it’s connected to the internet. There are pros and cons to each type, for example, some types of wallets might be easier to use and access but have more security risks.

Custodial or Non-custodial Wallets?

We understand how important private keys are to access your cryptocurrency, so having it in a secure location will make the difference between keeping your crypto safe and being targeted by potential hacks.

  • Self-Custody, or also called a non-Custodial Wallet means that you are responsible for your crypto assets and private keys. In this case, the private keys are stored on your device like with Metamask.

    This process also lets the user log in to access the private keys via a seed phrase. If you are locked out of the device or end up losing it, you may be able to recover your wallet using a seed phrase on another device. If you lose your passwords and seed phrase you will likely lose access to your funds.

  • Custodial Wallets - This is when a third party holds your private keys. In this case,  you use a password to access the funds via their app, sometimes complemented by 2-factor authentication. However, these can be open to a security breach and your funds could be in danger from any malicious spam or hackers. 

‍Hot or Cold?

The second distinction is around whether the wallet is connected to the internet:

  • Hot Wallets, also referred to as online wallets or browser wallets.
    This indicates that your wallet is always connected to the internet, meaning that you could be open to a hack at any point from spam or hackers.

  • Cold Wallets, also known as hardware wallets. This is a physical device on which the private keys are stored on. Since they are not connected to the internet, they are less likely to be hacked.

All of the above points are a basic intro to the types of crypto wallets and each poses a Pro or Con when it comes to convenience, safety and access to your funds, you can read a bit more about different types of crypto wallets here. Users should do their own research into each option when considering using a wallet.

MetaMask

With over 21 million users worldwide, MetaMask has become a popular app amongst crypto users and Web3 newcomers. It’s accessible via both mobile app and as a browser extension, with a quick and easy sign-up process. You simply have to download a browser extension and no personal information is required: https://metamask.io/


The app equips you with a key vault, secure login, token wallet, and token exchange in order to buy crypto, NFTs or browse Web3 applications.

Pros

  • Open-source
  • Private keys are kept on the browser
  • Easy to use (UX is easy to follow)
  • Used to access the Ethereum blockchain
  • Integrations with Ledger devices

Cons

  • A "hot" wallet - not as secure compared to a cold wallet  
  • Only supports Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens, including EVM compatible chains such as Polygon. It does not support chains such as Solana.

When compared to other crypto exchanges and digital wallets such as Coinbase and Ledger, MetaMask is ranked among the top recommended.

Buying Crypto

Buying Crypto


Crypto purchases are an important element of the crypto economy and for users to acquire funds to store, buy or trade other assets. When users buy and sell crypto on an exchange, it’s typically exchanging fiat currency to crypto, or transferring it back to a traditional bank account. The more native crypto user might be trading a stable coin for other cryptocurrencies.

The main ways to buy crypto on MetaMask is via Card Payments, Mobile payments and bank transfer. MetaMask also boasts that they have “the best fiat to crypto exchange rate”. MetaMask itself is not an on-ramp provider (a regulated company that lets users exchange fiat to cryptocurrencies, or vice versa), but partners with various on-ramp companies to allow the easy exchange of fiat currencies. 

On MetaMask, users can buy a variety of cryptocurrencies with stablecoins and native tokens across a wide variety of networks: Ethereum, Polygon, Binance Smart Chain, Avalanche, Fantom, and Celo.

Swaps

Swaps are the process of trading one cryptocurrency for another, in this case, it’s Ethereum based tokens on MetaMask.

The Swaps feature on Metamask combines a number of live data points from decentralized exchange aggregators, market makers, and DEXs, to ensure users get competitive rates  combined with low network fees.

This is one way for MetaMask, to offer the best offers for their users tapping into a large pool of networks. Behind the scenes, it can automatically split your trade to provide access to greater combined liquidity.

Gas Fees

Eurgh, the dredged word. If you’re a crypto user, you’ll know this is one of the many off putting words you hear in the Web3 community. Especially when purchasing or exchanging NFTs and cryptocurrencies with “high gas fees”.

One of the main reasons why users might jump between platforms and wallets is to get the best price on gas fees. It’s essentially Uber charging surge prices!

If you are new to the world, it won’t take you long to understand why gas fees play a crucial part to every transaction or anything you do on crypto led platforms. So what is a “Gas Fee”?

Gas fees are basically a transaction fee, when you perform any function on a blockchain.
Mint an NFT… Gas Fee, want to trade tokens…Gas Fee.

These fees are used to compensate miners, like on the Ethereum network as an example,  for the energy required to verify a transaction. They ensure that miners keep the network up and transactions are being recorded on the network.

The Fee is determined by how much activity is occurring on the blockchain. Gas fees can range anything from cents up to $1,000 of dollars. (Bored Ape… Gulp)

But this is what keeps everything ticking, you might not notice but even within Fintech and traditional banking, transaction fees are charged for different services. Ever sent money abroad to a relative outside the US or Europe? You most likely incurred some kind of transaction fee for that service.

Blockchain Layer 2

The good news is that a new framework or protocol, called Layer 2, is being used to help improve efficiency, scalability and ultimately gas fees. The framework is built on top of an existing blockchain system.

Back to crypto, Layer 2 protocols can process more transactions per second, which then get delivered to the underlying Layer 1 blockchain as a bundle at a later date. The end result is still the same, but the gas fees are often only a fraction of the cost. 

 

How Koia Uses Crypto Wallets

Reading this blog, we hope that you learned the difference between the different wallets, and more about Metamask. Their easy access for users to use the app and functions of topping up is one of the main reasons why MetaMask is so successful.


On Koia, You can sign up to the Koia App by either connecting a MetaMask wallet, WalletConnect or, if you are new to the Web3 space, you can also simply sign up with your email address.

If you have signed up with your email address, Koia will automatically create a 'non-custodial' wallet for you.Once signed up, users will be able to participate in upcoming drops and connect their wallets to see their collection of Fractions linked to various assets on the app.

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At Koia, we allow you to buy, trade and collect fractions of iconic assets, starting from $60. Our experts make sure to source and buy the best assets, and we take care of authentication, storage and insurance. All of the benefits, with none of the hassle.

The articles and information made available on Koia are provided for information and educational purposes only and do not constitute financial advice. You are advised to consult with an independent financial advisor for advice on your specific circumstances.