MetaMask, the most popular Ethereum and ERC20 token standard wallet developed by ConsenSys, has released its mobile client at DevCon.
At DevCon, a major Ethereum-focused conference held in Prague, Czech Republic hosted by large conglomerates and leading cryptocurrency businesses including EY, Microsoft, ShapeShift, Santander, Blockfolio, and Wanxiang, the MetaMask development team officially released and showcased the MetaMask mobile wallet.
Joseph Lubin, the founder and CEO of New York-based ConsenSys, the largest blockchain software firm in the world with over 1,000 developers, shared the product release with the official user interface of MetaMask mobile.
The @metamask_io mobile app was just announced at #Devcon4! Everyone's favorite #Ethereum browser extension is coming to your phone. The team is focusing on not being 'just a wallet', but a portal to the world of all things #blockchain. https://t.co/3bvQXuF8gV pic.twitter.com/vcaIkkzcVS
— Joseph Lubin (@ethereumJoseph) October 31, 2018
Merit of a Mobile Client
MetaMask, which launched in early 2016, has become the go-to wallet for Ethereum and ERC20 token users, mostly due to its capability of handling various decentralized application (dApp) requests and its simple user interface that enables the transfer of ETH and tokens launched on top of the Ethereum blockchain network.
For years, many MetaMask users have asked for a mobile client of the wallet, as the vast majority of Ethereum users have started to rely on MetaMask as the main ETH and token wallet. For over two years, MetaMask was only available to users in the form of a browser extension on Chrome, Brave, and Firefox and was restricted to mobile users.
Since early 2014, cryptocurrency users have favored mobile wallets over web-based wallets due to various security merits and advantages. As Joel Snyder, a senior IT consultant, a contributor to Samsung Insights, explained, the presence of trusted execution environment (TEE) in smartphones allow devices to store data that cannot be reached by hackers.
“This is why smartphones have an edge over laptops and desktops for cryptocurrency wallets: without the benefits of the hardware-based TEE, the keys are more vulnerable. There is a significant caveat: a naïve wallet developer might choose to simply store the keys on the normal internal storage of the phone, in which case there’s little additional protection from using the smartphone platform.”
MetaMask is a non-custodial wallet that provides users with full control over their funds. But, that also means users have to take full responsibility of their private keys and storing them on the cloud or on public platforms can be unsecure.
What Took MetaMask so Long
Similar to existing platforms like Status, the newly released MetaMask mobile client has additional functionalities. Rather than operating solely as an Ethereum wallet, the mobile client can function as a dApp browser or a "Google Play Store for dApps."
On MetaMask mobile, users can run various dApps such as CryptoKitties by connecting the wallet to the dApp to seamlessly process information on the Ethereum mainnet.
In the past, mobile app users also downloaded and utilized apps similarly to how Ethereum users use dApps now -- by directly downloading or accessing apps from the distributor.
The release of MetaMask mobile will open a variety of dApps to a wider range of Ethereum users, who previously had not used dApps due to the lack of accessibility.
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