The Ethereum community has been abuzz about a new protocol known as MetaMask. This particular tool brings Ethereum to one’s browser through an available plugin for Google Chrome. It is quite an interesting project, considering MetaMask also allows users to run distributed applications directly in the browser. A very intriguing development, and a good time to take a closer look at what MetaMask has to offer.
MetaMask Offers Quite A Few Advantages
Making the Ethereum ecosystem more accessible to the average consumer is a smart move. While it is evident this ecosystem has a lot of technical advancements to offer, most people find it quite confusing to get the hang of things. Even accessing most dApps can be quite a challenge, as it requires running a full Ethereum node on the computer. For the average person, that is taking things one bridge too far.
This is where MetaMask comes into the picture, as it addresses most of these problems. More specifically, the browser plugin allows anyone using the Chrome browser to access Ethereum dApps directly from their browser. That alone is quite a massive improvement, considering it has been quite problematic to do so for novice users. A complicated process makes dApps automatically less appealing to most people, which is not a good thing.
MetaMask takes things one step further, though, as this protocol removes the need to run a full Ethereum node as well. Bringing additional convenience to the table, combined with fewer technical requirements to access dApps, is a massive breakthrough for the Ethereum ecosystem as a whole. It is certainly possible MetaMask will bring a lot of positive attention to decentralized applications moving forward.
There is a lot more to MetaMask than just a focus on convenient access to dApps, though. The tool also provides users with a secure identity vault, which allows anyone to manage identities across different websites. Moreover, these different identities can be used to sign blockchain transactions. Everything is presented through a convenient user interface, which further lowers the barriers to entry as far as Ethereum and dApps are concerned.
It is important to note that, while MetaMask only exists as a Chrome browser plugin right now, the goal is to support additional browsers moving forward. Firefox is the next browser on the list, although it is doubtful Edge will follow anytime soon. Anyone who is interested in creating a plugin for their favorite browser can start developing it right away, though. Making Ethereum as easy to use as possible is the ultimate goal.
It will be interesting to see whether or not MetaMask can bring more people to the Ethereum ecosystem over the coming months and years. For now, the ecosystem is geared toward tech-savvy people and developers, rather than the average person on the street. Thanks to projects such as MetaMask, more people will be able to see what dApps are all about, without requiring any technical knowledge.
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