Metamask vs. Coinbase Wallet

The past few years have seen phenomenal growth in DeFi as a whole with the emergence of a variety of innovations in the form of decentralized applications. DeFi crypto wallets have also advanced over the same period, with examples such as MetaMask and Coinbase Wallet leading the charge.

MetaMask, for instance, has moved from a simple plug-and-play add-on wallet on your browser and now operates as one of the most successful applications on the Ethereum ecosystem, bringing the dream of Web 3.0 closer to reality.

Coinbase Wallet, on the other hand, has also made significant gains by going after a mainstream user base that is more focused on privacy and safety. These two wallets have become milestones in the world of decentralized finance.

In this article, we highlight the benefits of these two DeFi crypto wallets to showcase how their utility goes beyond just security and control.

Coinbase Exchange

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MetaMask Overview

MetaMask is an easy-to-use crypto wallet designed for the Ethereum ecosystem. It was founded by ConsenSys in 2016 as a desktop extension and has since grown to offer a full self-custody experience, including a mobile application.

You can download and use its mobile application on either iOS or Android devices. Apart from its availability on the Chrome browser and Firefox browser, MetaMask is now also available on the Brave Browser as well as on Microsoft Edge.

MetaMask comes with a bunch of features that add convenience to dealing with cryptocurrencies. This software wallet recently integrated a feature that lets you swap tokens on the app as opposed to first connecting to a decentralized exchange such as Uniswap. The feature scours through the DeFi landscape to offer the trader the best liquidity deal and at the lowest fees. This means anyone can now exchange tokens from their MetaMask wallet.

Overall, MetaMask is one of the easiest ways to interact with the Ethereum blockchain and even though it is a hot wallet, MetaMask offers integration with hardware wallets such as Ledger Nano for boosted secure storage of your funds.

MetaMask Logo

MetaMask Wallet

  • User interface is easy for beginners to grasp
  • Portal into a variety of Ethereum dapps
  • Hardware wallet integrations
  • Available on mobile and as a browser extension
CRYPTOCURRENCIES Thousands (Any Ethereum or other EVM-compatible blockchain token)
COST Free to download

MetaMask Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Open-source and non-custodial
  • Easy to use and supports all tokens on Ethereum
  • Available on popular browsers

Cons

  • It is a hot wallet
  • Only supports Ethereum’s blockchain

Coinbase Wallet Overview

Coinbase Wallet is a decentralized application that is accessible from your device’s browser. This wallet allows you to store, send and receive Ether and a plethora of ERC20 tokens.

As a DeFi wallet, Coinbase does not own any of the private keys in the Coinbase wallets. For this reason, Coinbase Wallet users have no guarantee that they will receive compensation for lost funds, as is the case for users who store funds on the main Coinbase platform. This, however, gives users of Coinbase Wallet more control of their funds.

Coinbase Wallet implements client-side encryption, where the private keys are encrypted on your computer. The only way for Coinbase to decrypt your wallet is if you give them your password.

Originally known as Toshi, Coinbase Wallet was first released on August 16, 2018, to facilitate the storage of ETH and ERC20 tokens in the growing DeFi landscape. The hot wallet also comes with a mobile app that is available on iOS and Android. This wallet supports the following cryptocurrencies as of now: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, XRP, Stellar Lumens, Dogecoin, and ERC20 tokens (including USDC and DAI).

Coinbase wallet

Coinbase Wallet

  • Non-custodial wallet developed by Coinbase team
  • Easy to swap assets between Coinbase wallet and Coinbase exchange
  • Support for over 100 crypto assets including Bitcoin, Ethereum and USDC
  • One of the most secure software-based wallets
  • Ability to store NFT assets
CRYPTOCURRENCIES 100+ (BTC, USDC, Ethereum, ERC20 Tokens)
COST Free

Coinbase Wallet Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Self-custodial wallet
  • Developed by world-leading Coinbase exchange team
  • Mobile app available on Apple and Android
  • Backed by Coinbase support team

Cons

  • As a hot wallet, it is not the most secure
  • Arguably one of the more centralized standalone wallets

MetaMask vs Coinbase Wallet at a Glance

METAMASK
COINBASE WALLET
COST
Free
Free
SECURITY
Medium
High
TYPE
Browser wallet
Software wallet & browser extension
BEGINNER FRIENDLY
Yes
Yes
AVAILABLE CRYPTOCURRENCIES
All Ethereum-based tokens (ETH, MATIC, AVAX, USDC)
500+ different assets
DESKTOP SOFTWARE
Yes
Yes
YEAR RELEASED
2016
2018
COMPATIBLE WITH HARDWARE WALLETS?
Yes
No
MOBILE APP
Yes
Yes
OPEN-SOURCE
Yes
No
ASSET SWAPS
Yes
Yes
STAKING OPTIONS
Yes
Yes
NFT SUPPORT
Yes
Yes

Can You Connect Coinbase to Metamask?

You cannot import Coinbase account to a MetaMask wallet.

Instead you will need to send cryptocurrency from your Coinbase account to your MetaMask wallet. For instance in order to send ETH from Coinbase to MetaMask you will have to copy your MetaMask ETH address into Coinbase. Make sure you have the correct address or you might lose your ETH.

You can also do the reverse and send crypto from MetaMask to Coinbase using the same procedure. What’s the transfer time between MetaMask and Coinbase? It depends on the cryptocurrency and network congestion but in general it shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes or so. Every now and then Coinbase will need a little extra time to OK a withdrawal or deposit, however, so don’t get alarmed if it takes up to a day.

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Beginner Friendliness

Both the Coinbase Wallet and MetaMask are designed with ease of use in mind. Any beginner looking to find a straightforward way to interact with decentralized applications with the easiest self custody wallet will enjoy using these two crypto wallets.

Coinbase Wallet for instance, easily integrates with the main Coinbase app thus giving users of the main Coinbase platform easy transition to self custody. MetaMask is also known as one of Ethereum’s applications with the most active users, thanks to its overall simplified transaction process.

From the time you download the app to the time you start using it, there is no KYC requirement, so all you need to do is set it up and start managing the storage of your asset.

Trust and Security

Trust and security are top considerations for any crypto enthusiast. While MetaMask and the Coinbase wallet are hot wallets designed to always be online, they feature integrations to safer storage alternatives.

Apart from keeping your seed phrase safe, you can link your MetaMask wallet to hardware wallets such as Ledger Nano to enjoy the security of offline storage. Coinbase Wallet users can also store a majority of their funds with the main Coinbase exchange platform to get insurance cover for their funds.

Supported Cryptocurrencies

While MetaMask only features support for tokens and digital assets on the Ethereum ecosystem, the Coinbase Wallet hosts a wide variety of blockchain assets, including assets such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, XRP, Stellar Lumens, Dogecoin, and Ethereum.

This gives users flexibility in the type of assets they can store and the number of blockchains they can interact with. Even then, MetaMask remains to be the most popular wallet preferred by users of the many decentralized application hosted on Ethereum’s ecosystem.

Standout Features

A standout feature you can expect to find on the Coinbase Wallet is its built-in capacity to seamlessly integrate with decentralized applications. The Coinbase Wallet comes with a decentralized app browser that will let you interact with dApps without having to authorize every transaction.

MetaMask has also advanced over the years from a simplistic web extension wallet to a fully-fledged platform that also comes with a swapping mechanism built into the app. With MetaMask, you can exchange ERC20 tokens across the DeFi ecosystem without even visiting a decentralized exchange. MetaMask can evaluate and connect you to the best DeX rates that offer reliable liquidity.

CryptoVantage Verdict: MetaMask Better for dApps, Coinbase for More Assets

When it’s all said and done, the ultimate choice will be determined by a user’s preferences and specific needs. Granted, both MetaMask and Coinbase Wallet offer nearly the same functions; however, there are subtle differences to consider. For instance, Coinbase Wallet has a web platform that allows you to run dApps with ease, while MetaMask integrates with hardware wallets such as the Ledger Nano.

Also, despite Coinbase Wallet’s integration with multiple blockchains, it still cannot level up to MetaMask’s capacity to connect with every dApp on the Ethereum ecosystem, which is the biggest DeFi ecosystem at the moment.

At the end of the day, convenience and accessibility are two of the most important factors to consider when picking any wallet, especially if you are looking for a way to securely store your crypto assets.