MetaMask is a software cryptocurrency wallet used to interact with the Ethereum blockchain. It allows users to access their Ethereum wallet through a browser extension or mobile app, which can then be used to interact with decentralized applications. MetaMask is developed by ConsenSys Software Inc., a blockchain software company focusing on Ethereum-based tools and infrastructure.
MetaMask allows users to store and manage account keys, broadcast transactions, send and receive Ethereum-based cryptocurrencies and tokens, and securely connect to decentralized applications through a compatible web browser or the mobile app's built-in browser.
The application includes an integrated service for exchanging Ethereum tokens by aggregating several decentralized exchanges (DEXs) to find the best exchange rate. This feature, branded as MetaMask Swaps, charges a service fee of 0.875% of the transaction amount.
Prior to 2019, MetaMask had only been available as a desktop browser extension for Google Chrome and Firefox browsers. Given the popularity of MetaMask among cryptocurrency users, and its lack of an official mobile app for several years, instances of malicious software posing as MetaMask became problematic for Google in regulating its Chrome Web Store and Google Play platforms. In one instance, Google Play unintentionally removed MetaMask's official beta app before reverting the decision a week later on January 1, 2020.
While MetaMask and other "web3" focused applications aim to decentralize control over personal data and increase user privacy, critics have pointed to the potential for MetaMask's browser extension to leak identifiable information to data collection networks and web trackers as a fundamental flaw.
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