MetaMask memorializes its sixth anniversary.

For the first time, the MetaMask team shares exclusive stories about its history and unique insights. In order to attract new users from international markets quickly, the launch of MetaMask Mobile in September 2020 played a crucial role.

MetaMask memorializes its sixth anniversary.

What is MetaMask?

Dan Finlay and Aaron Davis launched Metamask in July 2016. MetaMask is a mobile wallet and browser extension by ConsenSys, a leading developer of decentralized protocols and Ethereum technology, marking its sixth anniversary. MetaMask is the world’s leading self-custodial wallet. Since its launch, MetaMask has had 6-digit growth in Monthly Active Users (MAUs). A key motivation behind the adoption of dapps on Ethereum has been MetaMask.

How MetaMask was borned?

Dan, an English Literature major, was born in Detroit, lived briefly in New York, and is now settled with his wife in California's Pacific Coast region. Despite not being a big traveler, he has enjoyed his trips to Turkey and Japan. Aaron, a study of both Japanese and Chinese scholars, likes to move about a lot but has usually consistently lived around Japan, China, Bali, and now Hawaii.

Dan first wanted to live in an igloo, but over time, his desire evolved, and he often wanted to be an astronaut. Dan eventually abandoned that idea and studied English Literature at university. Aaron only wanted to play video games. With the intention of becoming a simultaneous interpreter, Aaron learned Japanese. When questioned about his unusual professional goals, Aaron explained:

“You have to get everything out of your brain to be a conduit for translation, I found the pure alignment of mind very inspiring.”

At the open-source Minecraft clone VoxelJS, Dan and Aaron first interacted. Dan's journey encountered Aaron's in 2013 at Apple after his various works as a screen printer, portrait artist, filmmaker, museum docent, arcade supervisor, balloon twister, and portrait artist. They were working on peer-to-peer computing, or, "crazy ambitious ideas that still resemble what we are doing today", explains Aaron. Dan was inspired by his family's experiences with the auto industry collapse and farm worker movement in California. Dan is captivated with human rights and connecting with people through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Dan said, "I hate that we are building on years of businesses deliberately externalizing their impacts and exploiting everything they can for profit."

Dan's alternative elementary school, Charquin, was where he first encountered community currencies. As their technological aspirations and philosophical perspectives converged, MetaMask began to take shape. According to Aaron:

“One part of tech and politics was coming through projects like torrents. People were doing something really complicated and everyone was working together to pull it off. I wanted to see how we could do it in a bunch of other ways.”

This moment was before Ethereum had even launched. In 2014, the second largest blockchain was created, which put a bug in their ear. Dan stated, “When I heard about Ethereum and the ideas surrounding it, I thought that they fit a couple things that sounded like what I wanted to make—a modular democracy or better debate system. I wanted to use computers to help people raise funds, send micropayments, and more”

Together, they reduced MetaMask's initial scope and changed direction to create a web extension. Due to this, it was improved just enough to the point where it could be used in hackathons and tested by developers. A low-poly fox was Aaron's idea for an animal mascot. Aaron said:

“The fox for me invokes a number of things: the folk hero of Disney’s Robinhood, rebellion against tradition, the clever solitary creature as an image of self-custody, a chance encounter in the dark forest, and solving the problem of safe collaboration or how we can trust each other.”

They required a name as well. Although Aaron enjoys giving things names, he is aware that it might be difficult to do so. He gave much thought to a term that is now known as MetaMask, and he described, “I wanted something that matches the purpose, rolls off the tongue nicely, and mostly passes the “phone test”: can you say it over the phone and can they write it down? MetaMask was meant to mean, “the identity of your identities." Dan and Aaron both share the belief that they need to create fresh trust foundations. Dan stated:

“Today, most people neither know how to trust computers, nor each other. The internet has shattered our sense of unity. I want to leave people feeling like they are able to trust more things again, but for the right reasons.”

Because Aaron believes that most Web3 trends that are currently trendy won't be around in 20 or 30 years, he focuses on themes and forms rather than details. He wants to provide a starter kit for civilization on Web3. Both of them are convinced that MetaMask is all about the community, which is developing the wallet's future features through MetaMask Snaps. Aaron invites developers and said, “try lots of things. Have faith you can figure out how to do something if you put in the time. Because you—we—are building the future."

Future Prospects

Since Snaps' inception in January 2022, almost 600 unique developers have begun interacting with it. By enabling the Filecoin network inside MetaMask, Filecoin Snap by Protocol Labs made it easier for dapps to integrate. When the snap is installed, a frontend for Filecoin integration will be added to the wallet. Through this, users may send FIL transactions, see their Filecoin accounts and balances, and cryptographically signed messages using their Filecoin keys. You may handle your own bitcoins directly in MetaMask using Bitcoin Snap by Keystone.

Pianity's ArSnap enhances MetaMask's capabilities to enable Arweave. It seeks to deliver dapp developers the tools they need to use ArSnap Adapter to build their own integration. Developers may deploy StarkNet accounts, conduct StarkNet transactions, and interact with StarkNet smart contracts using StarkNet Snap by Starkware.

MetaMask Snaps is transforming the developers' environment

With MetaMask, developers may build on top of the platform without the support of the MetaMask team, enhancing the functionality of their dapp and MetaMask. MetaMask, which was first created for EVM-compatible networks, may now be integrated with Snaps for non-EMV-compatible networks. They are seeing the development of Snaps for a multi-chain industry.

The innovation of Snaps is that developers may build features and integrations that go beyond what is currently imagined, and they anticipate that as the product becomes better within the developer community, new use cases will be developed.

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