So, you’ve heard about how Ethereum is different from other coins. You know that it’s not just a value store, it’s a platform for running applications on the Ethereum Network. But, how do you use these so-called DApps? Can you connect to them right from your browser or do you need some kind of dedicated mining device? No, you do not need a dedicated mining device. These days, with just a few clicks and the Google Chrome browser, you can interact directly with the Ethereum Blockchain.
You can do this by installing a plug in called MetaMask. MetaMask acts like a bridge between websites functioning on the Internet and DApps running on the Ethereum Network. Without such a bridge, these worlds are separate, but with this bridge, you can write to and interact with the Ethereum Blockchain directly from your Google Chrome Internet browser, the same one that you might be using to read this content.
When you first start up MetaMask, you are given a seed phrase. It is very important that you make a secure back up of this phrase. The developers claim in the video linked below that this phrase will allow you to restore your account on other browsers. That sounds cool but I have not tried it. At first MetaMask just looks like a little wallet plugin for the browser. It includes a wallet address, a balance, and some buy and sell options. There’s so much more though. It enables websites to verify your identity based on your wallet. It then acts as a bridge between the Ethereum Network and the Internet website that you are visiting. It allows websites to act as functional portals to DApps.
When I first installed MetaMask, I knew that I had to take it for a spin. I started by sending 10 bucks from my Coinbase account to my MetaMask wallet. After 70 cents worth of transfer fees, I had $9.30 worth of ETH in my MetaMask wallet. Then I ate a snack and did some streaming Yoga videos on Prime because my back was sore. Trading conditions were bad that morning, so I had $8.80 when I returned. Don’t worry. I continued to HODL. Soon I had my nine dollars back. Then I visited Leeroy, and that is a story for another day. In the meantime, I invite you to learn more MetaMask and how it can help you use DApps. A lot of the stuff is pretty experimental at this point, but the MetaMask plugin is really smooth and it gives you a good sense of the future possibilities.