How to Transfer Ethereum (ETH) and ERC-20 Tokens to/from MetaMask

Beginner’s Guide / 22.12.2020

Recently, there has been growing interest in ERC-20 tokens, which is basically the defacto standard for Ethereum tokens. In the Ethereum ecosystem, tokens represent a wide range of digital assets, including IOUs, vouchers, and even real-world assets. In essence, ERC20 tokens are smart contract tokens designed to be used exclusively on the Ethereum platform

ERC-20 tokens are the primary protocol for proposing improvements to the Ethereum (ETH) network. ERC stands for Ethereum Request for Comment, while the 20 represents the proposal identifier. ERC-20 creates a common standard for the creation of tokens on the Ethereum blockchain.

ERC-20 tokens can be integrated into various exchanges and wallets to facilitate their exchange between them and other cryptocurrencies. Integration of ERC-20 tokens into wallets, marketplaces, and other contracts follows the ERC20 standard. A popular crypto wallet where you can safely and efficiently store your ERC-20 coins is MetaMask– a crypto wallet & gateway to blockchain apps. 

MetaMask

MetaMask is essentially a web-based wallet designed for managing, receiving, and transferring Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens. The wallet takes the form of a browser extension, and it’s compatible with three main browsers: Brave browser, Firefox, and Chrome. Today, the wallet has over a million active users. 

The platform has become a favorite among crypto enthusiasts thanks to its functionality that allows users to interact with smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps). In short, MetaMask users can access the Ethereum blockchain without having to download the entire blockchain. MetaMask functions like a gateway that enables you to run the Ethereum apps in your browser without necessarily running a full Ethereum node. 

Some of the DApps that are compatible with MetaMask include The Digital Art, Blockchain Arcades, and CryptoKitties. MetaMask doesn’t require users to input logins plus doesn’t store users’ private keys in any server. Instead, the private keys are stored on the Browser, i.e., Chrome, where the passwords are protected. 

MetaMask offers you an all-in-one solution for the management of your crypto assets. It gives you a key vault, secure login, token wallet as well as a token exchange-essentially everything you need to manage your digital assets. 

MetaMask Overview

MetaMask was developed in 2016 by Aaron Davis and Dan Finlay. The primary purpose behind the development of MetaMask was to make Ethereum easy to use. The company is based in the US, with the development team growing to accommodate great developers, including Frankie Pangilinan, Christian Jeria, Thomas Huang, Kevin Serrano, and James Moreau. 

Supported Coins and Fees 

MetaMask supports Ethereum and all ERC-20 tokens. Individuals can add tokens to the wallet by simply searching for the token name using the search function or using the custom add tab to add tokens to the wallet by presenting the token’s smart contract address, symbol plus decimals, or precision. 

The wallet charges a small number of fees to transact. The transaction fees are usually based on the network. There are three transaction options on the platform: slow, average, and fast. You can choose any of the options depending on how fast you want the transaction to be completed. 

There is also an option to use custom fees by clicking on the “Advanced Options.” However, setting a low transaction fee may take some time for your transaction to be completed. On the wallet, transaction fees are usually measured in Giga or Gwei. The collected transaction fees are distributed to the miners on the network.  

How to Transfer ETH and ERC-20 Tokens to MetaMask

On MetaMask, you can transfer ETH or ERC-20 tokens from an exchange to your wallet or another wallet or a new MetaMask account. It’s straightforward to transfer ETH and ERC-20 on the wallet, and you’re only required to submit a transaction to the address of your account in MetaMask. 

The first step in transferring ETH and ERC-20 tokens on the wallet is to install the MetaMask web-extension on your browser. Follow the below steps. 

  1. Visit https://metamask.io/. Select your browser and proceed with Chrome. Then click “Get Chrome Extension.”
  2. You will be directed to the Chrome web store and then click “Add to Chrome.” 
  3. Click “Add extension.” The MetaMask icon will appear at the top right of your Chrome browser
  4. Then click on the Metamask extension at the top right of your Chrome browser. You’ll be asked to create a new password. Create the password, confirm it, and then click on ‘Create.’ 
  5. Read and accept the Terms of Use, Privacy Notice, and Phishing Warning. 
  6. MetaMask will then generate a secret backup phrase on your behalf. It will help if you keep this password in a safe place. Either write it down, store it in a safe place, then click on next.
  7. Confirm your secret backup phrase. Your wallet will now be ready for use.

How to Send ETH and ERC-20 Token to MetaMask

  1. Open the MetaMask extension. 
  2. Click on the ‘Add Token’ from the main dashboard.
  3. For instance, if you would like to transfer Tether tokens (USDT) to your MetaMask wallets. You’ll first need to search for USDT. Click on ‘Tether (USDT)’.
  4. Click on ‘Details’ under your account name. This will show your Ethereum address where you’ll send your USDT
  5. Navigate to the ‘Send’ functionality of exchange or wallet holding your tokens-in this case, USDT. Then paste your MetaMask Ethereum address into the recipient field.
  6. Click on ‘Send’ and confirm the transaction by clicking “Accept.” The tokens will be transferred to your MetaMask wallet almost instantly. Confirm the balance in your wallet and complete any necessary steps.

Conclusion

MetaMask combines both the features of a crypto wallet and Dapp to enable you to directly interact with Ethereum Dapps without having to run a full Ethereum node. The wallet essentially brings Ethereum to your browser, providing you with everything you need to manage your digital assets. It’s possible to transfer ETH and ERC-20 tokens from Ethereum dApps to MetaMask by following the steps outlined above. 

However, it is important to note that transferring tokens may be different depending on the application holding the tokens. Therefore, it’s essential to read the platform’s documentation or contact their support team before conducting token transfers. MetaMask account balance should automatically update after the completion of a transaction. 

If the balance is not updated even after some time, you can track the transaction using a block explorer such as EtherScan by searching the txHash (transaction hash) of the transaction you conducted. All transactions are usually traced to the wallet.   

Adam is an outgoing young lad who likes adventures and discovering new things. Despite his boring life, he loves writing about cryptocurrencies and exploring what blockchain technology can do for the coming digital world where all adventures will be virtual.