Exploring alternatives to Metamask
Aside from Bitcoin, blockchain smart contracts, and the decentralized applications (Dapps) they enable promise to revolutionize the world in many ways.
But for your average user, Dapps can be hard to use. This is especially true when using MetaMask. While easier to pick up for intermediate and advanced crypto users, MetaMask can be off-putting for beginners and in general adds a lot of steps to Dapp usage.
To make Dapps easier and further mainstream adoption, MetaMask alternatives have popped up so users can use Dapps in a few taps.
1. Argent, DeFi made easy
- Easy to use – start investing and borrowing in a few taps
- Pays transaction (gas) fees
- No writing down seed phrases while giving you control of your crypto
- Daily transfer limits, wallet locking, and other security features
- Limited to a few decentralized finance Dapps
- Only supports Ethereum and Ethereum tokens
- Only available for Android and iOS
Argent is a relative newcomer to the crypto space and offers an easy to use Ethereum wallet, with an emphasis on decentralized finance (DeFi) Dapps like Maker and Compound Finance, which replace traditional financial services like lending and borrowing with decentralized versions of them.
Argent even pays your gas fees! No more paying for transactions or waiting hours because you didn’t set a high enough gas price.
In addition to ease of use, something cool Argent offers is the ability to secure your wallet without having to write down a seed phrase. This eliminates a major point of friction for new crypto users, who aren’t used to doing that for traditional apps. Better yet, this security setup works without you having to give up control of your funds (Argent doesn’t hold onto your crypto for you).
However, unlike MetaMask, you can’t just plug and play with any Dapp using Argent. Argent limits you to a few DeFi Dapps. While support for other Dapps might grow over time, Argent isn’t as flexible as MetaMask, which lets you use any Dapp with MetaMask support.
Lastly, Argent’s mobile-only, in case you’re looking for a MetaMask alternative that works on desktop or web, too.
2. Exodus, a popular wallet that goes beyond HODLing
- A popular wallet that you might already use
- Great design and ease of use
- Support for over 100 crypto assets
- Supports mobile, desktop, and hardware (Trezor)
- Limited to 1 Dapp
- Dapp usage limited to desktop
- Not fully open-source
Next up in our list is Exodus, one of the more popular crypto wallets that recently started to branch out to Dapps with their addition of Compound Finance. This greatly enhances Exodus’ usefulness, as it was previously used for more typical wallet features like storing, sending, and receiving as well as exchanging.
Since Exodus is already quite popular with crypto users, it’s possible that you might already use it, making the jump to using Dapps on Exodus easy.
Another advantage of Exodus is its great design and ease of use. For example, their Compound Finance integration is super simple for anyone looking to earn interest on DAI tokens.
Moreover, while Exodus does have an Ethereum wallet like Argent, Exodus also supports more than just Ethereum and Ethereum-based tokens. You can also use Exodus for Bitcoin, XRP, Monero, and other popular assets.
This flexibility extends to its support for all major mobile and desktop platforms as well as its support for the Trezor hardware wallet.
Nevertheless, Exodus’ jump into the world of Dapps is rather recent and while they plan to add more Dapps in the future, you’re currently limited to using 1 Dapp (Compound Finance), which isn’t ideal for regular Dapp users.
Also, Exodus’ support for Compound Finance is limited to desktop, in case you wanted to use Exodus and Compound on mobile or elsewhere.
Finally, Exodus isn’t fully open source, which isn’t ideal if you want to inspect the app’s code to make sure that it’s safe to use and doesn’t contain any major security flaws or other issues.
3. Coinbase Wallet, connect your Coinbase account with a dapp browser
- Transfer to/from Coinbase.com account
- Use with any Dapp that supports Coinbase Wallet
- Supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, and Ethereum-based tokens, including collectibles
- No two-factor authentication (2FA)
- Known for poor customer service
- Only available for Android and iOS
Coinbase Wallet is an offering from Coinbase, a popular place for users to buy their first crypto. However, Coinbase Wallet is different from Coinbase.com, where many users start their crypto journey.
Nevertheless, you can transfer to/from your Coinbase.com account, which is useful if you use Coinbase.com regularly for buying, selling, and otherwise managing your crypto. (Note that you can still use Coinbase Wallet without a Coinbase account).
Another benefit of using the Coinbase Wallet is that like MetaMask, you can use Coinbase Wallet with any Dapp that supports it, as opposed to being limited to curated Dapps like on Argent and Exodus.
Also, while Coinbase Wallet doesn’t support as many assets as Exodus, it still supports popular cryptos, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin, along with Ethereum tokens, including crypto-collectibles, also known as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). This gives Coinbase Wallet an edge over MetaMask and Argent, which are Ethereum only.
On the downside, Coinbase Wallet has no enhanced security features like two-factor authentication (2FA). With Argent, you can set a daily transfer limit. Sending anything above that limit from your Argent wallet takes 24 hours or the approval of a Guardian (you on another device, someone you trust, or Argent’s 2FA text message service).
With Exodus, you can use a Trezor hardware wallet to approve any transactions before they go through.
Coinbase Wallet doesn’t have the kinds of security features that MetaMask alternatives like Argent and Exodus have, making Coinbase Wallet unsuitable for storing large amounts of crypto.
Moreover, while Coinbase portrays itself as user-friendly, Dapps aren’t always easy to figure out, especially for crypto beginners. In case you’re new to Dapps and crypto in general, it’s probably better to use something other than Coinbase Wallet because Coinbase is known for having lackluster customer service.
Lastly, Coinbase is mobile-only, which means you’ll have to use something else for desktop or web.
Conclusion: Which alternative to choose?
MetaMask is a great way to use the ever-growing multitude of Dapps. Yet, MetaMask isn’t always suitable for everybody, especially beginners, who might be unfamiliar with things like seed phrases and gas fees.
Each of the MetaMask alternatives in this list has its pros and cons, but in summary, here’s how you might choose an alternative that’s right for you:
- Easy to use DeFi? Argent
- A multicurrency wallet that doubles as a Dapp portal? Exodus
- Dapp browser with support for big-name cryptos and Ethereum tokens, including NFTs? Coinbase Wallet