MetaMask, the leading Web3 mobile app and browser extension wallet that is part of the ConsenSys suite of products, recently celebrated its 6th anniversary.
Created in July 2016 by developers, Dan Finlay and Aaron Davies, MetaMask is the leading self-custodial wallet which people use to store their cryptos, DeFi, DApps, and NFTs.
In its latest update, MetaMask has over 30 million Monthly Active Users (MAUs).
According to the founders, Meta means self-referential. Mask, as in a decorative or drama mask, is a metaphor for identity. MetaMask was meant to mean, ‘the identity of your identities,’ or, ‘the thing you use to manage your many identities.’
Here is a roadmap that MetaMask has realized in the last 8 years:
In a recent blog post by ConsenSys, the founders reflected on some of the important milestones over the years, as they also give lessons in the process.
When looking back, some memories that stand out for the developers along their journey include staying up all night during the rise of CryptoKitties in 2017 to come up with a way to alleviate the stalled transactions.
The founders also reveal that it was during a retreat in 2018 when they first started talking about how they would scale the product and let users add new networks.
It is in 2019 that they came up with Snaps, which adds API support enabling people to build on top of MetaMask without direct support from the MetaMask team in a safe manner. This shipped in January 2022.
According to Aaron Davies, Founder of MetaMask:
“2020 was a huge dramatic year where we first started seeing the new ways in which scammers phished our users’ Secret Recovery Phrases, but then shipped the Swaps feature that gave us our first actual revenue, and allowed us to hire more reliably.”
– Founder, MetaMask
2021 was a year of rapid growth, laying the foundation for MetaMask’s most ambitious plans.
2022 has been a year of building the systems and teams MetaMask needs to fulfill users’ needs more completely.
If they were to give one piece of advice to developers, Dan says:
“It’s all about finding a way to serve the rest of humanity. Focus on the problems people have, listen to people, learn how things work, and then see if you can make life a little easier for someone.
Along the way, you might discover things that would make things easier for you to make things easier for them, and those are also valid ways to build, but you have to start with something you care about doing for someone else.”
– Founder, MetaMask
The founders also point out that most things in Web3 that are popular now won’t be around in 20 or 30 years.