The world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies is a thrilling and fascinating one. But if you’re dealing with Ethereum or any asset built on the Ethereum blockchain, you must’ve had to shell out quite a bit in GAS fee.
While this doesn’t cut too deeply into your profits, it is certainly unpleasant. It is only fair for Ethereum to charge the fee as it is then used to keep the blockchain running and for improving it.
Nevertheless, the GAS fee has led to many people finding alternative ways to carry out their transactions.
Since there are quite a few alternative blockchains to use, the switch hasn’t been too difficult for the users.
Binance Smart Chain is one of the best blockchains to use if you’re looking for an alternative to the Ethereum blockchain. And in this beginner’s guide, we’re going to tell you how you can connect your favorite Ethereum wallet, MetaMask, to the Binance Smart Chain.
But before we get into it, as always, here’s everything you’ll find in the blog. If you’re in a hurry, feel free to skip to any section you want. But if you have the time, I would strongly recommend you to read through the entire blog.
- What is MetaMask?
- What is Binance Smart Chain?
- How to Install and Setup MetaMask?
- How to Configure the MetaMask Wallet to Work with the Binance Smart Chain?
With that out of the way, let’s jump right into it!
What is MetaMask?
Funded by the Ethereum incubator, ConsenSys, MetaMask is a browser plugin. It is installed much like any other plugin but can actually serve as an Ethereum wallet.
Once installed, MetaMask allows its users to store Ether and a whole lot of ERC-20 tokens. This enables them to make transactions to Ethereum addresses.
Once you connect it with other Ethereum-based Dapps, you can spend your coins in games, you can trade them using decentralized exchanges and even stake your tokens through gambling applications.
MetaMask also acts as a potential entry point for you to get into one of the most talked-about sectors of the blockchain industry—decentralized finance (DeFi). It provides you with an easy way to access Compound, PoolTogether, and other DeFi apps.
The Benefits of Using MetaMask
There are multiple benefits of using MetaMask.
To start with, MetaMask is open-source. This means that you can find its code and access it online for free. So the community can review and update it to continuously keep improving it.
Speaking of the community, MetaMask really values it. With an introduction video and an exhaustive support page, it tries to build a community. It is no surprise, therefore, that it has upwards of a million active users and about 70,000 Twitteratis following it.
Moreover, since it has hierarchical deterministic settings, you can back up your account. All you need to do is remember the seed phrases it gives you and use them to reset your lost account information. This ensures that you don’t lose out on your hard-earned crypto if for some reason you end up formatting your device or worse yet, losing it. You could, however, end up losing all of your assets stored in the wallet if you ever forget your seed phrases. And let’s face it, nobody has the kind of memory to remember the seed phrases of every wallet. So it is recommended by experts that you should store your seed phrases offline somewhere and make at least 3 copies of them.
All of the copies must be stored in different locations. So if you have a PC/laptop, a tablet, and a mobile phone, those devices could be your storage locations for the seed phrases. I always make it a point to write it down on paper as an added measure of security and keep it in a safe place.
If you feel you’re putting your keys at risk by storing them on the cloud, rest easy because MetaMask stores your keys in your own browser. This has been done to give you more control over the public and private keys you hold.
If you’re in the mood for buying some cryptos, you can do that too with MetaMask. Thanks to the fact that it is linked with Coinbase (for Ether purchases) and ShapeShift (for Ether and ERC-20 token purchases), you can go on a shopping spree right on the platform.
Once set up, the platform is super easy to use. All of the features of MetaMask are intuitive. So sending and receiving cryptos isn’t a hassle, even for beginners.
The only problem with this is that it uses Ether. And that means GAS fees. To overcome that, Binance has developed its own blockchain that can be used to trade cryptos.
What is Binance Smart Chain?
As Binance defines it – “Binance Smart Chain (BSC) is best described as a blockchain that runs in parallel to the Binance Chain.”
BSC has a few functionalities that the Binance Chain doesn’t have such as smart contracts. To top that, it is compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). The reason why BSC was made was to introduce smart contracts into the Binance Chain ecosystem while keeping its high throughput intact.
I know what you’re thinking—it sounds like an off-chain scalability solution. But it isn’t. In fact, it runs as an independent blockchain. So, if in the future, for some reason, the Binance Chain goes offline, it wouldn’t affect the functioning of BSC. That said, when it comes to BSC’s design, it is pretty similar to the Binance Chain.
Being EVM-compatible, BSC launched with in-build support for more or less all of Ethereum tools and DApps. For developers, this means that it would be easy for them to port their Ethereum projects over. For users, this means that they can configure MetaMask and other similar applications to work on BSC by merely tweaking a few settings.
So how do you connect MetaMask to BSC? Let’s talk about that!
How to Connect MetaMask to the Binance Smart Chain?
How to Install and Setup MetaMask?
If you’re an Android or iOS user, you can download MetaMask directly from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store respectively. For Chrome and Firefox users, the process is a bit different.
Chrome users can go to the Chrome Web Store and search for the MetaMask extension. Once downloaded and installed, you can use it directly.
For Firefox users, the process is going to be pretty much the same with the difference being that you would need to visit Firefox’s Addons store.
Once downloaded and installed, you would be instantly taken to a screen that would welcome you. I played with the fox by moving my cursor around for a solid ten minutes. But if you’re in a hurry, you can click on the Get Started button (and not play with the fox, which is sad).
This would take you to another screen that guides you based on whether you’re a new user or an existing one. If you’re an old user, you probably had to reset your browser and reinstall the extension. In that case, you must keep your seed phrase handy because it asks you for it.
If you’re a new user, however, you simply need to click on the Create a Wallet button.
Moving forward, you get the option to allow MetaMask to gather usage data to improve the usability and user experience. You can choose to refuse by clicking on the “No Thanks” button.
Alternatively, you can choose to opt into it by clicking on the “I Agree” button. That said, even if you agree to share the data, your keys and other personal data won’t be shared with them. All that goes to them is anonymous usage data. So your data is safe.
Moving on, you would be asked to create a password for your account. The password has to be a minimum of 8 characters in length.
You would then be taken to a screen that shows you a secret backup phrase. This phrase would act as the seed phrase when you ever need to import your wallet in the future.
And that’s it. That’s all you need to do to set your MetaMask wallet up.
You’re now ready to receive and send funds straight from your wallet.
How to Configure the MetaMask Wallet to Work with the Binance Smart Chain?
By default, your MetaMask wallet would be dealing with Ethereum. DApps working on the Binance Smart Chain would not work on it. In fact, you could end up losing funds when you use BSC-based DApps to send cryptos to this wallet.
To change that, hit the Settings option from the drop-down menu on the top right corner as shown in the screenshot below.
Once you’re on the Settings page, try to find the Networks option from the menu on the left flank. Out here, you need to click on Add Network on the top right corner to add BSC manually.
While you’ll be good simply adding the Mainnet to your wallet’s networks, it would be best for you to add the Testnet as well. The values for both are mentioned below:
Network Name: Smart Chain
New RPC URL: https://bsc-dataseed.binance.org/
Block Explorer URL: https://bscscan.com
Network Name: Smart Chain – Testnet
New RPC URL: https://data-seed-prebsc-1-s1.binance.org:8545/
Block Explorer URL: https://testnet.bscscan.com
Once you hit save, it would be added to your networks and when you return to your home screen, you would find that instead of dealing with ETH, you are now dealing with BNB.
And that’s it. You’ve successfully configured your MetaMask Wallet to work with the Binance Smart Chain! Since it is intuitive, you can add tokens and trade right from your wallet.
Before You Go…
The Binance Smart Chain is a great alternative to the Ethereum blockchain and with MetaMask giving you easy access to it, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go for it.
With more and more developers building DApps on BSC, it isn’t far-fetched to expect it to get significantly better in the future.