You will find many useful videos on the internet on how to create a MetaMask wallet. The main inconvenience you might face is that once a new wallet is set up it will be tied up to your device and moving it across devices will require a few recovery and import steps which is something very different to what we are used to with the normal username/password accounts.
The promise of self-sovereign identities that MetaMask can provide for us in this exciting Web3 world also means we will need to take ownership and responsibility for ourselves. As they say, with great power comes great responsibility! Below are a few very important things you should learn when creating your first MetaMask wallet.
Secret Recovery Phrase - Why is it important and how to keep it safe?
Right after you have installed the MetaMask extension in a supported web browser or the MetaMask mobile app on IOS or Android devices, you will be asked to create a new wallet which will involve creating a password followed by a 12-word Secret Recovery Phrase (SRP). We have included a step-by-step video from MetaMask support below.
These 12 words put in a particular order represent a very long number and this very long number is the master key to your new wallet. If you lost your 12-word SRP and you forgot the password you set for this wallet on a device you set up this wallet with, you will never be able to access this wallet again and all the assets that this wallet holds will be lost forever. That’s why it’s extremely important that you follow the official advice from MetaMask and keep your SRP as safe as possible. Learn more on MetaMask support here.
The Public Keys and Private Keys of Ethereum accounts
Based on the 12-word SRP your Metamask wallet can generate many public-private key pairs which are essentially the Ethereum accounts you see in your wallet.
The public key is what's usually referred to as your wallet or account address which is similar to your bank account number. You will be able to check all the transactions and tokens belonging to your account on sites like etherscan.io with your public key which always starts with "0x". This is also the address that others can send Ether and other tokens to your wallet.
The corresponding private key, which is roughly the same as your ATM pin code, is what you will be using to sign transactions and perform all the actions associated with your account such as sending tokens or signing into Dapps. You should never reveal or expose your private key to anyone just like you should never share your ATM pin, once a malicious party gets hold of your private key he/she will be able to "import" your account to another wallet and then take all your assets.
If you have set up your wallet and backed up your SRP and privately keys properly following the best practices, you will be in a good position to start your journey in the Web3 world comprised of more and more exciting decentralised apps, such as BNV.ME, in the safest manner possible.
"Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.'