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‘Unmasking MetaMask’ Critique Exposes High Fees, Phishing Threats

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • MetaMask's service charges are becoming financially unviable for some.
  • Gas fees compound the cost of token swaps.
  • Phishing threats emerge from using the popular wallet.
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The MetaMask crypto wallet is one of the most popular in the industry, but all may not be what it seems behind the facade of that orange fox.

A recent blog post delving into the inner workings of MetaMask by freight and trading logistics blockchain network Freight Trust has revealed that the wallet has a darker side.

The far-from-flattering report titled “Unmasking MetaMask” claims that the popular crypto wallet places its commercial success above end-user safety and could potentially expose users to unnecessary risks.

MetaMask Fees Compounded

The first gripe is about MetaMask’s 0.875% service charge which is added to swap fees and gas prices, making them a little hard to swallow.

“If you’re using MetaMask Swap, you’re getting this on-top of the existing 0.3% Uniswap fee, for an effective fee of at least 1.175% per trade.”

It added that exchanges such as 1inch do exactly what MetaMask does without the heavy fees or the 1.5x gas multiplier. There are also some discrepancies with how the wallet calculates gas prices — though it claimed to have improved them back in mid-December 2020.  

The report also alleges that MetaMask operates some “shady blacklisting practices” by keeping an updated list of banned websites. There is also an accusation of potential token balance manipulation by keeping a closed source MetaSwap contract.

The blog post goes on to claim that MetaMask stores all trade data in plaintext in its back end. This opens up end users to targeted phishing attacks since hackers would know they use that specific wallet, just as they did with Ledger customers.

Just like Ledger, MetaMask has also posted a guide on phishing prevention and private key storage but this is of little consolation to users that have already lost crypto assets due to criminal activity involving these platforms.

There were further critiques of its codebase and potentially intrusive tracking practices with references from what is clearly a very disgruntled user.

Crypto Wallet Options Expanding

As with anything in crypto, products are constantly evolving and there are plenty of choices. For many, MetaMask has become too expensive to use recently, but that is largely due to the surge in gas fees.

Its ‘service charge’ maybe a little too high, but there are alternative wallets out there such as Formatic, TrustWallet, Atomic Wallet, Argent, etc.

Using the most popular ones such as Ledger and MetaMask could potentially make you a target for scammers. Because of this, dividing one’s crypto eggs into different digital baskets is always a good practice.  

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Martin Young
Martin Young is a seasoned cryptocurrency journalist and editor with over 7 years of experience covering the latest news and trends in the digital asset space. He is passionate about making complex blockchain, fintech, and macroeconomics concepts understandable for mainstream audiences.   Martin has been featured in top finance, technology, and crypto publications including BeInCrypto, CoinTelegraph, NewsBTC, FX Empire, and Asia Times. His articles provide an in-depth analysis of...
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