Michelle Legge
By Michelle LeggeHead of Crypto Tax Education
Updated Jun 20, 2024
This article has been fact checked and reviewed as per our editorial policy.

Is MetaMask Safe and Legit?

MetaMask is trusted by millions of investors worldwide to trade and store their crypto - but is MetaMask safe? Find out about MetaMask, its safety and security features, and its disadvantages in our MetaMask security guide.

Is MetaMask safe?

Yes. MetaMask is a trusted crypto wallet used by more than 30 million people worldwide, with security features like encryption, Blockaid, and seed phrases. It is, however, a hot wallet, and is best used in combination with a compatible hardware wallet.

What is MetaMask?

MetaMask is a popular in-browser, self-custodial wallet for crypto investors looking to buy, store, send, and swap on the Ethereum blockchain, although it also supports many other blockchains. It's also a popular option for those interested in investing in DeFi and exploring dApps and has attracted more than 5 million users.

Part of MetaMask's popularity comes down to its strong security features and blockchain support.

MetaMask security features

MetaMask enables security features to help protect your crypto, including:

  • Encryption: User configurations are stored on MetaMask servers, encrypted with a specially generated key only you own. Nobody other than you can read the configurations. 

  • Blockaid: MetaMask has partnered with Blockaid to develop a unique privacy feature that lets you simulate a transaction before signing and alerts you to potential scams. This is an opt-in feature currently, but can help you avoid malicious websites.

  • Seed phrases: Also known as a secret recovery phrase, MetaMask utilizes seed phrases to help users recover their MetaMask wallets should they ever forget or lose their passwords.

While MetaMask does provide security features, as a non-custodial wallet, it’s important to recognize that the safety of your crypto ultimately falls on you, the user.

An infographic listing the various security features of MetaMask, presented by Koinly, a crypto tax calculator

What are the risks of using MetaMask?

Most of the risks of using MetaMask aren’t associated with the wallet itself but with the user and the dapps you interact with. Potential risks of using a MetaMask wallet include:

  • Phishing attacks: These are some of the most common threats for MetaMask users. Phishing attacks involve scammers attempting to deceive users into sharing their private keys or other information. They usually come in the form of emails or fake websites that mimic legitimate platforms. MetaMask will never ask you for your private keys or password. Any email or website claiming otherwise is a scam.

  • Malicious websites: Fake websites can compromise your crypto. These websites may have harmful scripts or malware that can compromise your wallet. Always check the website you’re visiting is the official one, and install anti-malware software on your device to protect yourself. 

  • Smart contract vulnerabilities: Smart contracts present risks for users as vulnerabilities can result in the loss of funds or unauthorized access to your MetaMask wallet. You should always ensure you understand and trust any app before interacting with it. 

What are the disadvantages of MetaMask?

MetaMask is a hot wallet. That means it's connected to the internet at all times, which increases the security risk for your crypto. Unless you're trading, it's best to store your keys in an offline wallet. MetaMask is compatible with several hardware devices including Ledger and Trezor.

Read next: Trezor vs. Ledger - Which is Better?

How can I secure my MetaMask wallet?

You can make your MetaMask wallet more secure by following some simple rules:

  • Don’t click suspicious links (especially if you don’t know the sender)

  • Use a strong, unique password and store it offline

  • Only ever download or update MetaMask from official sources

  • Always double check you’re on the correct website before conducting transactions 

  • Consider using a compatible hardware wallet to improve your security

An infographic listing how can a MetaMask user secure his MetaMask wallet, presented by Koinly, a crypto tax calculator

Yes, it’s legal to use a MetaMask wallet in the US currently. However, non-custodial wallets are facing pressure from regulatory authorities to collect customer data in the future. MetaMask doesn't currently require any personal information to open an account, but this may change in the future.

Read next: What are the new IRS crypto reporting requirements?

How does MetaMask work?

MetaMask is a crypto wallet, which means it stores the private keys for your crypto, but it’s better thought of as a Web3 explorer. You can use your MetaMask extension to interact with decentralized applications like Lido, Aave, and Uniswap.

MetaMask compatibility and token support

MetaMask supports Ethereum (including all ERC-20 tokens) and both layer one and two EVM-compatible blockchains.

Learn more about how to add different networks to MetaMask.

An infographic listing the various blockchains that MetaMask supports, presented by Koinly, a crypto tax calculator

Are there alternative wallets to MetaMask?

Yes. There are other non-custodial wallets available, but it’s important to understand that these hot wallets come with the same risks as MetaMask. Learn more about the best crypto wallets.

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MetaMask FAQs

Is MetaMask legit?
Is MetaMask a cold wallet?
How to download MetaMask?
How to use MetaMask?
How to withdraw from MetaMask to a bank account?
Who owns MetaMask?
How to log out of MetaMask?
How to recover a MetaMask wallet?
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