iOS, Version 1.0.10
Welcome to this guide on safely setting up a MetaMask wallet. MetaMask is your entry point to the world of Ethereum - a blockchain platform designed for running apps and smart contracts.
The MetaMask mobile app consists of two main parts: a wallet and a web browser. The wallet supports any token compatible with Ethereum, and the web browser is preconfigured for interacting with dapps and smart-contracts.
MetaMask was first released in 2016, as a browser-extension, by ConsenSys - the first company focused on building decentralized tools and infrastructure. Both MetaMask and ConsenSys have played monumental roles in bringing Ethereum to the mainstream.
It is hard to overstate the effect MetaMask has had on the Ethereum ecosystem. By making dapps and smart-contracts simple and intuitive to use, activity on the Ethereum blockchain has enjoyed consistent growth.
Metamask is an open-source wallet, active development happens on github. The wallet has tons of features, and is constantly being updated and improved.
MetaMask is available as a browser-extension for Chrome, Firefox, Brave, and Edge. In September of 2020, MetaMask released a mobile app for iOS and Android.
2. Download and install
- From your mobile device, open the 'App Store' and search for 'MetaMask' or click this link: MetaMask on the App Store to download.
Trust, but verify. When using any cryptocurrency wallet, it is important to make sure you are downloading the correct version. Check the store listing for the following info:
Version: 1.0.10 as of January 26th, 2021
Offered by: ConsenSys AG
- The `Version` number and the `Updated on` date will change as the app is updated over time. The important part to verify is the `Offered by` field.
Remember the phrase trust, but verify. Taking the extra step to verify can prevent loss of funds. Trust, but verify is an important concept in having a security mindset.
3. Create and setup
MetaMask is a very easy wallet to get started with. No email address or personal identification is required. The process consists of two main steps - creating a password and backing up your seed phrase. You will be ready to explore the world of Ethereum in just a few minutes.
MetaMask supports any token built on the Ethereum blockchain. You might come across terms such as ERC-20 and ERC-721; these are just types of tokens.
ERC-20 tokens are fungible; meaning they are like money - each token represents the same value.
ERC-721 are NFT's, non-fungible tokens - where each token represents a unique digital asset - like a collectible.
On the Ethereum Blockchain, there are a couple hundred thousandtokens in existence. MetaMask includes most of the popular tokens by default.
To add a token, simply tap `Add Token` and search for the token. If your token is not listed, select `Add Custom Token` and input the contract address - MetaMask will then pull the info automatically.
Safely backing up your MetaMask wallet is essential. This guide covers in detail how to securely back up your seed phrase in Section 5. Securely back up your seed phrase.
MetaMask uses BIP39 to generate a seed phrase for your wallet. Your seed phrase will cover every token, address, and transaction generated by your wallet. Think of it as your backup master key.
Backing up your seed phrase ensures you will always have access to your funds. Securing your seed phrase backup ensures you it is safe from being compromised.
When creating a new MetaMask Wallet, the default method is to create your wallet within the app. The more advanced method is to generate your own seed phrase directly. We created detailed guides on how to create your own seed phrase.
If you already have a seed phrase, proceed to Section 6. Initialize or import seed phrase.
Create a New Wallet in MetaMask
In this section, you are going to create a new wallet in the MetaMask Android app using the wallet's default methods.To create a new wallet with a new seed phrase in MetaMask:
- Open the MetaMask extension and tap on `Get Started`. This will bring you to the `Wallet Setup` screen
- On the `Wallet Setup` screen you will be presented with 3 options:
- `Import using seed phrase`
- `Sync with MetaMask extension`
- `Create a new wallet` ← This is the one you want to select
- The first step is to create your password and set up your login settings
- MetaMask cannot reset your password for you. Check the checkbox to confirm you understand this concept. If you want to reset your password, you will need your seed phase
- Create your password using a combination of upper and lower case, numbers, and symbols. It's recommended to use a unique password that you have not used before.
- Sign in with Biometrics? MetaMask supports biometric authentication if enabled on your device. Decide if you want to use biometric authentication with your MetaMask account by switching the toggle on/off.
- When finished - tap on `Create password`
- MetaMask will now create your wallet and bring you to the next screen in the setup process
4. Verify your seed phrase
At this point, you will have a fully functioning cryptocurrency wallet that is able to store, send, and receive cryptocurrency. Before you put funds in your wallet, you need to verify and create a backup of your seed phrase. Your seed phrase is the only way to restore access to your funds if you lose access to your wallet - backing up your seed phrase is a very important step. Before moving on to Section 5 Securely back up your seed phrase, you need to find out what your seed phrase is, so you can back it up.
WARNING: When you follow the steps to find your seed phrase, you will be writing the seed phrase on a piece of paper. It is very important that you back up the seed phrase on a more reliable medium, and then destroy that piece of paper. Paper is vulnerable to accidental loss, theft, and damage. It is not the safest method of backing up your seed phrase.
- Secure Your Wallet - This is the most important step in creating your wallet. Here you will find your seed phrase, detailed instructions in Section 5 Securely backup your seed phrase.
- MetaMask will give you two options on the `Secure Your Wallet` screen.
- `Remind me later (Not recommended)`
- `Start (Highly recommend)`← This is the one you want to select
- MetaMask will display a warning before displaying your seed phrase:
- Writing your seed phrase on paper comes with risks!
- There are other options besides paper: Section 5. Securely back up your seed phrase of this guide is dedicated to teaching you how to safely backup your seed phrase.
- Tap on `Start` after you finish reading the warnings
- You are now ready to verify your seed phrase
- Tap on `View` for the seed phrase words to appear
- Write down the 12 words in the correct order
- Tap on `Continue`
- Confirm your Seed Phrase
- Your 12 words will appear on the screen out of order
- Tap on each word in the correct order to verify your seed phrase
- Tap `Complete Backup` when you are done
MetaMask reminds you on the last screen that it can't recover your wallet so that you have to back up your seed phrase in a safe way, It's your responsibility and an ultra-important task! Leaving a hint where you saved your backup is a good idea, but be careful of revealing the location of backup in a direct way, use something that no one can interpret, and of course, don't paste in your seed phrase.
Before you put funds in your wallet, you need to create a safe backup of your seed phrase. Your seed phrase is the only way to restore access to your funds if you lose access to your wallet.
You are now ready to proceed to Section 5. Securely back up your seed phrase and securely back up your funds.
Recommended Action: After you securely back up your seed phrase, it is important to destroy the paper you temporarily wrote your seed phase on.
If you used Vault12 to generate your seed phrase, then congratulations! Your seed phrase is already securely backed up in your digital vault.
Your seed phrase is the master key to all of your cryptocurrency funds. MetaMask Wallet uses BIP39 as the current industry best practice for generating seed phrases. The majority of modern wallets today use BIP39. This means your MetaMask seed phrase can be used to access your funds across many different wallets without knowing your MetaMask password.
Securely backing up your seed phrase is the most important step in creating a new wallet. To emphasize how important this is, consider how someone with your seed phrase could access your funds without you knowing.
Imagine a bad actor has your seed phrase, and you have your Metamask Wallet locked down with 2FA, IP address whitelisting, blocked tor access, and all the other security features. The attacker could simply open any wallet application, and import your seed phrase. The attacker now has access to all of your funds.
We want you to have a secure backup, so this never happens to you.
Nine out of ten wallet providers only mention one way to backup your seed phrase - by writing the seed phrase on paper. Wallet providers only mention this paper backup method because it is easy for beginners to do. Paper backups are simply not that secure.
We did extensive research and compiled the best ways to backup your seed phrase. We cover all the most well-known options, including next-generation options like how to back up your seed phrase in Vault12.
Once you have safely backed up your seed phrase, you can initialize your wallet using any BIP39 compatible wallet. In the next section, you will learn how you can initialize a MetaMask wallet using your seed phrase.
6. Initialize or import seed phrase
If you are following this guide from the beginning, and created your MetaMask Wallet the default way, using the app to `Create a Wallet`, then congratulations! Just be cautious about storing high amounts of funds with a wallet-generated seed phrase.
You are now ready to start using your MetaMask wallet.
If you followed one of our guides for generating a more secure seed phrase, and you want to use that seed phrase in the MetaMask Wallet - this section is for you!
In this section, you will learn how to initialize your wallet using a pre-generated seed phrase. There are 3 main reasons to generate your wallet using this method:
- You lost access to your wallet, and you need to regain access to your wallet and your funds.
- You want to access your wallet and funds using a different wallet app.
- You want the best security, and you generated a seed phrase using an advanced method.
The Metamask Wallet makes the process super easy and user friendly. Let's get started.
- Open the MetaMask app and tap on `Get Started`. This will bring you to the `Wallet Setup` screen
- On the `Wallet Setup` screen you will be presented with 3 options:
- `Import using seed phrase`← This is the one you want to select
- `Sync with MetaMask extension`
- `Create a new wallet`
- Enter your seed phrase here
- Type your seed phrase in the `Seed phrase` text box.
- Any typos, misspellings, or typing the words in the incorrect order will invalidate the process and you will have to start over.
- MetaMask supports using QR codes generated from a seed phrase. To use this feature, tap on the small QR code box in the bottom right corner of the Seed phrase text box.
- Create and Confirm a new password
- Create a strong password, e.g. using a combination of upper and lower case, numbers, and symbols. It's recommended to use a unique password that you have not used before.
- WARNING: MetaMask cannot reset your password for you. If you need to reset your password, you will need to recover your wallet using a backup of your seed phrase. So be careful to remember your password.
- Confirm your password by typing it again
- Sign in with Biometrics?
- MetaMask supports biometric authentication if enabled on your device.
- Decide if you want to use biometric authentication with your MetaMask account by switching the toggle on/off.
- Initialize Your Wallet
- Look over your seed phrase to be sure there are no mistakes
- If everything looks good, tap on `Import` to initialize your wallet
- Read the info on the Welcome screen and Tap on `Done` to complete setup and enter your wallet
- You will see advice to keep your seed phrase safely backed up. Review Section 5. Securely back up your seed phrase to learn about backing up your seed phrase.
7. Further Reading
In the world of cryptocurrency, knowledge is your best friend.
Crypto Wallet providers will almost always have their own user documentation, and sometimes they may even have a user community where you can ask questions.
Check out these resources about MetaMask Wallets:
Information about best practices on the topic of security can be scattered all over the internet. We work hard to distill the best practices into one place for you.
Check out these resources about securing digital wallets:
- Benefits of using an encrypted digital vault, like Vault12
- How to back up a seed phrase on paper
- All about RNG's - Random Number Generators and why they are important
Ethereum is home to a rapidly growing ecosystem of dApps, smart-contracts, communities, and more.
Check out these resources about Ethereum:
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The Vault12 app helps you recover, back up, and provide legacy inheritance for all your digital assets, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, NFTs, other cryptocurrencies, secrets like keys, seed phrases, PIN codes, digital art, and of course, your crypto wallets.
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