Decentralized finance (DeFi) and NFTs have made significant strides in the past few years. During the same stretch, crypto wallets have also made progress. Two of such wallets, Metamask and Coinbase are leading the charge.
Recently, MetaMask has switched from a simple plug-and-play wallet that could be added to your browser to one of the most prominent applications in the Ethereum ecosystem, making the Web 3.0 dream come true. On the other hand, the Coinbase wallet was grown into a tool that is focused on safety and privacy and has its own user base. So, which one is the best? Let’s put them against each other in this MetaMask vs. Coinbase wallet comparison.
What distinguishes a blockchain wallet from a conventional wallet?
Owning cryptocurrencies is fundamentally different from owning conventional money. Cryptocurrency is viewed as a database of codes rather than having a physical existence. The user's digital wallet address is the unique address used to store cryptocurrency on the blockchain. Users can help other users distribute crypto assets by using their public keys. A private key may also be employed to open the wallet's digital currencies and other digital assets, such as NFTs.
A crypto wallet may be thought of as a standard wallet that is required to protect the user's assets. Having said that, crypto wallets offer more security protections than other types of conventional wallets. In truth, crypto wallets never actually store the digital assets themselves. On the contrary, they guarantee the security of the keys to cryptographic assets. The data required to link users to the assets may be stored in the crypto wallet to ensure their safety.
Founded in 2016 by ConsenSys, MetaMask is a simple crypto wallet tailored for the Ethereum ecosystem. Initially launched as a desktop extension, it has now evolved into a full self-custody wallet with a mobile application. The application is available for both Android and iOS devices. When it comes to desktop browsers, it was only available for Firefox and Chrome browsers, but now it is available on Microsoft Edge and Brave browsers as well.
MetaMask has a lot of features that make dealing with cryptocurrencies more convenient. One example of convenience is the integration of the token swapping feature on the app rather than using one specific decentralized exchange. This feature combs through the DeFi space and finds the best liquidity deals at the lowest prices.
All things considered, MetaMask makes Ethereum blockchain interaction quite easy. Despite being a hot wallet, it can be integrated with cold wallets such as Ledger Nano to reinforce security even more.
MetaMask Pros & Cons
- Non-custodial and Open-source
- Supports all Ethereum tokens
- Easy to use
- Available on popular browsers
- It is a hot wallet
Coinbase Wallet Overview
Next in our MetaMask vs. Coinbase wallet comparison, let’s look at Coinbase wallet.
It is a decentralized self-custody wallet accessible from the browser of your mobile device. You can send, receive, or store Ether and other ERC20 tokens on this wallet. As it is a self-custody wallet, it does not own its user's private keys.
With its client-side encryption, your private key is encrypted on your computer. Coinbase cannot decrypt your wallet unless you give them your password. It was first launched to store ETH and ERC20 tokens in the ever-growing DeFi space. This hot wallet has mobile apps available for both Android and iOS. Lastly, it supports cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, Stellar Lumens, XRP, Dogecoin, and ERC20 tokens.
Coinbase Wallet Pros and Cons
- Self-custodial wallet
- Designed by Coinbase’s world-leading exchange team
- Mobile app for Android and Apple
- Not secure as it is a hot wallet
- One of the most centralized standalone wallets
Now that we have weighed both wallets, let’s start the MetaMask vs. Coinbase Wallet with this first point.
MetaMask or Coinbase wallets are simple and easy to use and therefore, they are ideal for beginners looking for a way to interact with dApps. These self-custody wallets also make them appealing to beginners.
You can easily integrate the Coinbase wallet into the main Coinbase app, giving main Coinbase platform users an easy transition to self-custody. On the other hand, MetaMask has the most active users due to its simple transaction process.
Another factor that reduces the barrier to entry is the no KYC process. You can simply download the app and start using it. You just need to set it up and start managing your digital assets.
Trust and Security
Whenever crypto enthusiasts use an app or a platform, one of the first things they look after is trust and security. Although both wallets are hot wallets that always stay online, MetaMask and Coinbase wallets feature integrations that make them safe.
MetaMask wallet can integrate with hardware wallets such as Ledger Nano and add an extra layer of security and keeps the seed phrase safe as well. Coinbase wallet users can use the main Coinbase exchange platform to store a majority of their funds as they get insurance coverage.
Next in Coinbase wallet vs. MetaMask wallet comparison is the number of supported cryptocurrencies. On one hand, Metamask only supports Ether and ERC20 tokens, on the other, Coinbase supports a range of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, Stellar Lumens, XRP, Dogecoin, and ERC20 tokens.
Therefore, Coinbase users have the freedom to interact with different types of digital assets and blockchains. Still, MetaMask is one of the most preferred wallets by users as it has a bunch of dApps hosted on Ethereum’s blockchain.
A feature that makes Coinbase wallet stand out from the crowd is its ability to seamlessly integrate with dApps. It comes with a dApps browser providing a gateway to interact with dApps without the need of authorizing every and every transaction.
MetaMask is not far behind as well since it has evolved from a simple web extension wallet to a full-fledged platform that features an in-built coin-swapping mechanism. You can use MetaMask to exchange ERC20 tokens throughout the DeFi ecosystem and you don’t have to visit a DEX. MetaMask connects you to the DEX rates that provide the best liquidity after a lot of evaluation.
Both wallets offer some great features, but the decision ultimately falls in the hands of the user and their specific preferences. Both wallets offer almost identical functionalities, but they also have subtle differences. For example, Coinbase allows its users to run dApps via a web-based platform, while MetaMask offers hardware wallet integrations.
Even though Coinbase has integrated with multiple blockchains, it cannot compete with MetaMask’s ability to connect with every dApp on the Ethereum blockchain. In the end, you have to consider accessibility and convenience while picking a wallet, especially to store your assets securely.