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24 March 2023
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MetaMask Unveils New Privacy Features for Crypto Wallets

Leading crypto wallet MetaMask has unveiled a number of privacy features in response to increased criticism.

On Feb. 2, industry-dominant crypto wallet MetaMask announced that users will see an “updated experience” for wallet creation and upgrades in their privacy and security settings.

“We have updated the extension to maximize the control you have over your data,” it said.

Under the advanced privacy settings, users can now toggle features that send requests to third-party services. This helps with phishing detection and identifying incoming transactions, MetaMask explained.

There is also the option to change RPC (remote procedure call) providers in response to criticism over the default provider, Infura.

MetaMask Under Fire

In November, MetaMask came under fire after an update by developers ConsenSys. A quietly updated privacy policy said at the time that when using Infura, it will “collect your IP address and your Ethereum wallet address when you send a transaction.”

This sparked a wave of condemnation towards the wallet and its creators, forcing ConsenSys to justify its actions.

MetaMask has now rectified the issue by offering a choice of RPC providers in this latest upgrade.

The phishing detection feature is also one that is required as attacks have increased, especially targeting MetaMask users. Malicious smart contracts such as Monkey Drainer lure victims into connecting to malicious addresses. The new phishing detector should warn users when they connect to a spurious wallet address.

However, some of the responses to the announcement remained critical of MetaMask as its competition has grown recently. DeFi analyst and decentralization advocate Chris Blec warned:

“I know that you need to market your product but trying to diminish the importance of seed phrases is not the way to do it.”

On Jan. 31, MetaMask announced a new Learn initiative to educate users about Web3 and online security practices.

In September, the wallet provider launched a portfolio manager to improve user experiences. In December, it collaborated with PayPal to enable to allow Ethereum transfers for U.S. customers.

Crypto Market Outlook

Crypto markets have retreated slightly this Friday with a 1.2% decline in total market capitalization. The total cap currently stands at $1.11 trillion, according to CoinGecko.

Crypto markets have gained 35% since the beginning of 2023, however, major assets are currently facing resistance at current price levels. BTC and ETH had retreated 1.4% and 1.8%, respectively, at the time of writing.

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