Buy $100 worth of crypto and get a bonus $10

  • Trade crypto and digital assets
  • Significant sign-up bonuses
  • The most trusted finance platform

Disclaimer: eToro USA LLC; Investments are subject to market risk, including the possible loss of principal. Your capital is at risk. This ad promotes virtual cryptocurrency investing within the EU (by eToro Europe Ltd. and eToro UK Ltd.) &USA (by eToro USA LLC) which is highly volatile, unregulated in most EU countries, no EU protections & not supervised by the EU regulatory framework. Investments are subject to market risk, including the loss of principal.

  • Home
  • >News
  • >Want to Experience Web3 Right Now? Get a Browser Wallet Like MetaMask

Want to Experience Web3 Right Now? Get a Browser Wallet Like MetaMask

How are browser crypto wallets like MetaMask pivotal to Web3? First of all, Web3 has reached buzzword status, and is akin to the hype that led to the “dotcom” bubble of the early 2000s. This is why I will start this article by clarifying what the idea behind web3 is.

Please remember; web3 does not exist yet. If this is the case, then why all the attention? Well, like those early dotcom days, there is money to be made if you put your money behind the right project. We will speculate on what web3 will look like, and outline the importance of browser crypto wallets for that future.

MetaMask is the most popular browser wallet.

What is Web3?

Let’s bring context to what Web3 is to aid our understanding. The “3” refers to the third version of the internet. Web1 and Web2 refer to the earlier rudimentary, and then more sophisticated versions of the internet, respectively.

In Web1, we saw basic web pages that were generally “read only”. Web2 is an enhanced form of Web1 with peer interaction, and dynamic user-generated content where users can also “write” to respond to content.

Web2 was a significant evolution in the “front-end” experience of the internet, highlighted by the rise of social media apps like Facebook and Twitter. “Front-end” refers to the user interface known by most users. This is in contrast to someone, like a web developer, who also experiences the internet “under the hood”, so to speak. While Web2 marks a substantial change in the user-experience of the internet, the foundational architecture – the “back end” – has remained largely the same. Web2 is also referred to as the participative social web.

The Decentralized Web

Web3 is being referred to as both the decentralized web, and the semantic web. Both names are fitting, but with some caveats. “Decentralized web” can mislead people to think that crypto represents the decentralized web.

This is not entirely inaccurate, but it misses the bigger picture. Yes, Web3 will be more decentralized as a result of crypto (blockchain) technology. However, it is easily overlooked that the decentralized infrastructure provided by this technology is foundational to so much more.

The Semantic Web

This is where the idea of the semantic web starts to make more sense.

Semantics is the study of meaning in the fields of linguistics and logic. In the context of Web3, it refers to an internet where information spreads based on technology’s ability to comprehend the meaning of words. It may not be immediately apparent, but this is a big step from the use of keywords and numbers in, say, the Google algorithm

An AI processing the meaning behind words can provide more personalized, and therefore relevant, search results for the user.

AI, IoT, and the Blockchain

So what is Web3 going to look like? Of course, it is too early to say, but it looks like the following three technologies will play major roles: artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT) technology, and blockchain technology.

AI will likely have many foreseeable and unforeseeable impacts on the internet. Namely, the language processing utility of AI would be the progenitor to the semantic web noted earlier. IoT technology is connecting us to hardware, from toasters to toilets, via the web. Finally, along with the many potential use cases for crypto, blockchain technology decentralizes resources across the web (including payments). Decentralization lays a novel network architecture to enable AI, IoT, and other emerging technologies to proliferate.

Where Browser Crypto Wallets Fit

It is not necessary to use a browser crypto wallet to be a crypto investor, but you may miss out on investment opportunities if you don’t. As the name implies, these crypto wallets are readily accessible in your browser to use while browsing the web. All it takes is the installation of a browser extension from within your browser. They exist for virtually every blockchain, and often you can use a single browser wallet service for multiple blockchains. Depending on the wallet, it’s also possible to buy, sell, and swap crypto directly within the wallet.

Speaking from experience, browser crypto wallets (MetaMask for me) have dramatically improved my experience of crypto in two ways. The first was by minimizing the time spent using different wallet apps. At first, I would either hold crypto in a cold wallet or in a wallet app on my phone or desktop. Of course, I still use my cold wallet(s), but always needing to send funds to and from various apps became tedious. Whenever I want an esoteric crypto, then I still use exchanges, but my browser wallet is where I do most of my crypto trading.

The second way has been by enabling me to access crypto applications, also known as decentralized apps (dapps). Cryptocurrency is on the web, and the web is where crypto dapps live, too. By using my browser crypto wallet, I’ve been able to explore and participate in emerging sectors of the crypto space from gaming to forest regeneration projects. You don’t need browser crypto wallets to invest in crypto, but they’re key to researching new crypto projects.

To summarize here’s a short list of the activities you can perform with a browser wallet:

  • Single log-in for numerous different sites
  • Swap between cryptocurrencies
  • Mint NFTs
  • Payments
  • Store crypto, NFTs and more
  • Vote in crypto governance
  • Stake cryptocurrencies

MetaMask is, by far, the most popular of the browser wallets but Coinbase, Exodus, Brave Browser and Ledger all have their own browser apps in the works. In addition many of the coins (Solana, AVAX, Cosmos, Polkadot) have their own individual browser wallets.

Web3 and the Role of Browser Wallets

So what is the link between browser crypto wallets, like MetaMask, and Web3? I outlined the technologies above that will likely play the biggest role in the evolution of Web3.

Given the reasoned assumption that blockchain architecture will enable Web3, it stands to reason that crypto will be necessary to interact with Web3. Thus far, browser crypto wallets provide a superior experience for those using crypto on the web. If this trend persists, then crypto browser wallets will be crucial to accessing, and interacting with web3.

Just a Taste

The crypto space is giving us a taste of what Web3 might look like a few years down the road. It is important to remember that it is still early to speculate on what Web3 will be like.

This is suggested by the similarity between the blockchain network’s growth to date, and the early days of the internet. Keeping this in mind, it is tantalizing to imagine how AI, IoT technology, and blockchain technology will come together in the next phase of the internet. Until then, it’s looking as if browser crypto wallets like MetaMask are pivotal to Web3.

Article Tags
Gerrit van Sittert

About the Author

Gerrit van Sittert

Gerrit van Sittert is a cryptocurrency investor keenly interested in the ramifications of blockchain technology. Since graduating from a commerce and entrepreneurship degree, he has specialized his knowledge of how cryptocurrencies are set to impact the global supply chain and emerging markets. He started his crypto journey in 2017 while hosting an entrepreneurial focussed meetup group in Victoria, BC.

Back To Top