ConsenSys, the market-leading blockchain technology company founded by Ethereum co-creator Joseph Lubin, announced recently that MetaMask now has more than 10 million monthly active users, with nearly 20% coming from the Philippines. The cryptocurrency wallet has emerged as the top choice for storing digital assets, particularly those earned from online gaming.
The new numbers on MetaMask’s user base represents a 19x growth compared to July 2020, and positions MetaMask as the leading non-custodial wallet by users globally. MetaMask is both a mobile app and browser extension that functions as a cryptocurrency wallet for interacting with the Ethereum blockchain and any Ethereum-compatible network like Polygon, Arbitrum, and Optimism.
MetaMask’s exponential growth has tracked closely with that of the Ethereum ecosystem. In 2019, $2 billion in crypto assets were committed to Decentralized Finance (DeFi). Today, Ethereum supports a flourishing Decentralized Finance (DeFi) ecosystem with over $80 billion in assets under management.
MetaMask is the primary way a global user base interacts with DeFi applications, along with the vast universe of approximately 17,000 unique Web3 domains, which include rare digital goods marketplace OpenSea and NFT-based online games.
MetaMask was first created in September 2016 and has been a central catalyst in the adoption of decentralized applications on Ethereum. The launch of the mobile version in September 2020 has played a crucial role in rapidly bringing new users from global markets such as not only the Philippines, but also Vietnam, China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Brazil.
The launch of token swaps on MetaMask mobile in March 2021 also exponentially accelerated user growth.
“MetaMask defined a new kind of cryptocurrency wallet, where users don’t just interact with currencies, but with decentralized applications, and we are constantly making these new kinds of applications more safe and accessible to a broader audience,” said Dan Finlay, MetaMask co-founder. “We’re letting users explore new ways of establishing trust on the internet,” he added.
The Philippines has emerged as the home of the world’s most active MetaMask users, thanks largely to NFT-based online video games like Axie Infinity where players can earn cryptocurrency tokens.
As of August 2021, the top 15 countries using MetaMask aside from the Philippines include: the United States, Vietnam, United Kingdom, China, India, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand, Turkey, Germany, France, Canada, and Spain.
DeFi is addressing the limits of “Traditional Finance” (TradFi) such as: substantial geographical barriers around the movement of capital, extensive paperwork, tons of intermediaries, lack of transparency, and high fees. It is challenging the existing TradFi policies that sometimes exclude minorities and low-income earners. The early and massive adoption of crypto in emerging markets is an example of how DeFi is solving TradFi market inefficiencies.
Until recently, custodial wallets were leading the democratization of access to crypto assets. The main uses were focused on trading different cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, through a wallet where the private keys are held by a third party: the custodian. This means third-party custodians operate with full control over user funds while users only have to give permission to send or receive payments. Like a bank, but digital.
MetaMask is different. It is now the leading non-custodial wallet which allows users from all over the world to hold and own their private key, giving them full control of their funds. There is no need to trust a third party to secure your funds and return them if you want to trade or send them somewhere else. MetaMask allows users to be their own bank and take control over their own finances in a private and secure way.
“MetaMask owes its growth to our community. They are constantly coming up with new ways to build and organize, and are always pushing us to improve in countless ways. As long as we can continue to help unleash their creativity, while keeping users safe, I think we’ll have an exciting future,” said Finlay.