MetaMask announced Apple Pay integration and gasless transactions in version 4.3.1 of its mobile app on March 29, 2022.
Since Apple Pay does not directly support cryptocurrency payments, the MetaMask app will support crypto transactions via the Wyre app’s Application Programming Interface (API) integration with Apple Pay. Additionally, crypto purchases up to $400 can now be made with debit or credit cards via the Wyre API, foregoing the necessity of transferring ETH into the app first, similar to how MetaMask integrates with Transak. Before using Wyre or Transak, customers must fill out Know-Your-Customer details.
MetaMask is a non-custodial wallet launched in 2016 to buy Ethereum tokens. It is used extensively to mint and purchase non-fungible tokens on Ethereum. A non-custodial wallet allows users to retain exclusive knowledge of public and private keys (special strings of numbers) used for transacting, instead of ceding them to a cryptocurrency exchange like Binance or Coinbase, that manage the keys on behalf of users.
Using MetaMask on Layer-1 blockchains like Ethereum attracts gas fees, the costs of transacting on the blockchain. ConsenSys, the company behind MetaMask, insists that it does not benefit from these layer-1 costs. However, they do take a 0.875% cut from each transaction. When private blockchains pay for a user’s gas on their behalf, these are considered “gasless” transactions, a feature also released in version 4.3.1 of the MetaMask app.
Unflattering comparisons made in report by blockchain company
MetaMask came under scrutiny in early 2021 on the back of a report entitled “Unmasking MetaMask,” released by Freight Trust, a freight and trading logistics blockchain network. The report claimed that ConsenSys prioritized commercial gains over end-user safety, highlighting the 0.875% fee added to swap costs and gas prices, unheard of at an exchange like 1inch. The blog also claimed that MetaMask kept plaintext records of its trade data, potentially exposing users to phishing attacks.
MetaMask user base surges
MetaMask surpassed 30 million monthly activate users in January 2022, up 42% in four months. “A global user base relies on MetaMask to mint and collect NFTs, join [Decentralized Autonomous Organizations], and participate in DeFi [decentralized finance] protocols. The United States, the Philippines, Brazil, Germany, and Nigeria represent some of MetaMask’s most active markets,” said ConsenSys in a public statement approximately two weeks ago.
MetaMask’s primary competitors are Coinbase Wallet, MyEtherWallet, StakedWallet.io, Trust Wallet, Exodus, HyperLedger, Electrum, and Jaxx in the retail wallet space. Metamask, Coinbase, and Jaxx wallets were recently implicated in a scam discovered by cybersecurity firm ESET, targeting Chinese users. The fake apps procured access to secret seed phrases to redirect cryptocurrency funds. Trojan horse apps targeted Android users without installed wallet apps. In contrast, iOS users could simultaneously install the real wallet app and a fake wallet app.