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Coinbase Wallet vs. MetaMask: Best Wallet 2023 (Expert Reviewed)

Coinbase Wallet vs. MetaMask: Best Wallet 2023 (Expert Reviewed)
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Our content is designed to educate the 400,000+ crypto investors who use the CoinLedger platform. Though our articles are for informational purposes only, they are written in accordance with the latest guidelines from tax agencies around the world and reviewed by certified tax professionals before publication. Learn More

In this guide, we break down the pros and cons of two of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency hot wallets — Coinbase Wallet and MetaMask. By the time you’re finished reading, you’ll have a better understanding of which wallet is best for you. 

Why do I need a cryptocurrency hot wallet? 

MetaMask and Coinbase Wallet are both considered ‘hot wallets’ — cryptocurrency wallets that are connected to the Internet, give you custody of your holdings, and allow you to send and receive crypto. 

Hot wallets also allow investors to easily interact with decentralized protocols like Uniswap and NFT marketplaces like OpenSea

MetaMask 

MetaMask is a free-to-use hot wallet designed specifically for assets on the Ethereum blockchain. The wallet was developed by ConsenSys Software Inc., but MetaMask’s code is open source — allowing developers all over the world to verify MetaMask’s security for themselves! 

Let’s walk through some of the pros and cons of MetaMask. 

Pros 

User friendly 

MetaMask’s mobile app and browser extension are both considered incredibly user-friendly! 

Metamask

Hardware wallet integration 

MetaMask can integrate with hardware wallets such as Ledger, Trezor, and Lattice! 

Popularity

Because MetaMask is one of the world’s most popular hot wallets, it can integrate with most decentralized applications! 

Cons 

Ethereum only 

At this time, MetaMask can only support the Ethereum blockchain and ERC-based assets.

Coinbase Wallet 

Coinbase Wallet is a self-custody hot wallet created by Coinbase. Currently, Coinbase Wallet offers a browser extension and mobile app, allowing investors to access their cryptocurrency on all of their devices! 

Pros 

Clean UI 

Like MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet has been praised for having a user-friendly interface.  

Coinbase wallet UI

Support for multiple blockchains 

Unlike MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet offers support for cryptocurrencies built on multiple blockchains — such as Bitcoin and Dogecoin. 

Personalized username 

Coinbase wallet allows you to set a personalized username for your wallet within the app (ex. yourname.cb.id). This eliminates the need for you to memorize your wallet address — typically a long string of numbers and letters. 

Ledger Wallet support 

In 2022, Coinbase Wallet added support for the hardware wallet Ledger. 

Cons 

Not open source 

Unlike MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet’s code is not fully open source. As a result, critics claim that Coinbase Wallet is not aligned with some of the cryptocurrency ecosystem’s core values, such as decentralization and transparency. 

Should I choose MetaMask or Coinbase Wallet? 

MetaMask and Coinbase are both considered top-tier hot wallets. The answer to which is better for you may differ depending on your specific needs. 

You should read our list of pros and cons to determine which wallet is better for your unique situation. You can also try both wallets for yourself to see which user interface you prefer. 

Should I use MetaMask or Coinbase for NFTs? 

Both MetaMask and Coinbase Wallet allow users to buy, sell, and trade NFTs. 

If you’re an NFT investor wondering which wallet is best for you, you should take a look at our list of pros and cons above. 

MetaMask vs. Coinbase Wallet fees 

When you transfer cryptocurrency to or from MetaMask and Coinbase Wallet, you will be required to pay relevant blockchain fees. Neither wallet charges additional fees. 

Can the IRS track transactions on my MetaMask and Coinbase Wallet? 

While transactions on cryptocurrency wallets like MetaMask and Coinbase Wallet are pseudo-anonymous, the IRS can still track your transactions. Remember, transactions on blockchains like Ethereum and Bitcoin are publicly visible and permanent. 

In the past, the IRS has worked with contractors like Chainalysis to match ‘anonymous’ wallets to known individuals.

In recent years, the IRS has been paying close attention to the cryptocurrency ecosystem. That’s why it’s important to report all your taxable income from cryptocurrency — including your gains and losses from your hot wallets. 

Crypto tax software like CoinLedger can help you complete the process in minutes — just plug in your wallet addresses and let the platform generate your tax reports!

Frequently asked questions

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