Nov 022018
 

Slow Metamask Speed up Metamask

Are you experiencing a slow Metamask and looking to speed up Metamask while your browse the decentralized application (DApp) world? This guide will walk you through all the steps to get it up to speed.

Metamask has become a staple of the DApp ecosystem on Ethereum. It lets you interact with the Ethereum blockchain via a browser extension. This is really convenient as you don’t need to download Ethereum node, connect hardware wallets, or download other software. As a simple extension, it really is a browser’s gateway into Ethereum’s DApp world. Metamask is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Brave browsers.

But there is a big problem with Metamask – it gets really slow for power users. After a while, it seems to be taking longer and longer to load a transaction and send it to the network. When does it happen? It happens when you submit many transactions. This is especially the case for crypto-gamers that play games like CryptoKitties, Axie Infinity, Gods Unchained, etc. since they submit many transactions. For example, CryptoKitties players in aggregate birthed over a million cats so far, each birth recorded on the Ethereum blockchain! Those are large numbers.

If this describes you, here are the action items that you can take now to speed up Metamask. Hopefully this makes your crypto-gaming experience smoother.

1. Reset Metamask Account

The very first thing to do with a slow Metamask account is to remove the transaction history. As the number of your Metamask transactions increases, your Metamask becomes slower. I think most users have already noticed that. If you have many transactions, the first thing is to ‘remove’ all these transactions. Since all your previous transactions are already sent to the Ethereum blockchain, there is no need to keep a history in your local Metamask.

How to reset Metamask Account?

Here are the steps you need to follow to reset your Metamask account:

First, click on your Metamask plugin to open the app. Below is how it appears on Brave. It is similar in Chrome and Firefox as well.

When the app opens, click on the circle on the top right corner of the app to display a menu.

Metamask Settings Screen

From the menu, click on the Settings at the bottom.

Metamask Reset Account Screen

Scroll to the bottom of the Settings, and you’ll see an option for ‘Reset Account’. Click on this button.

Metamask Confirm Reset Account

Metamask will ask you for a confirmation, along with telling you what exactly this ‘Reset Account’ feature is. “Resetting your account will clear your transaction history.” Click on the RESET to confirm. This will remove your transaction history and make Metamask run much faster.

2. Change Ethereum Network, and Change it Back

After you’ve done the reset account, you can try this other trick for slow Metamask. You will need to switch the network that your Metamask connects to. Don’t worry – you’ll change it right back to the main Ethereum network.

First, open your Metamask in your browser as shown above, and click on the dropdown at the top of the app that says ‘Main Ethereum Network’.

Metamask Network

Now change this to another option, such as Ropsten Network. You’re telling your Metamask to connect to a Ropsten node now instead of the Mainnet Ethereum.

Metamask Ropsten Network

After this, switch back to the ‘Mainnet Ethereum’ option to connect back to the mainnet Ethereum network.

This step ‘resets’ your Metamask connection to the main Ethereum network. It helps with, for example, flushing your transactions. You may have noticed for example that sometimes Metamask doesn’t tell you that the transaction has been confirmed. This step will force Metamask to recompute the transactions and give you a notification for when your transaction has been broadcast. Some DApps like CryptoKitties also recommend this step for some errors on their application. This is a handy little trick to not only speedup your Metamask but also update its state.

3. Disable, then Re-enable Metamask

In your browser extension/add-on section of Options/Settings, disable and then re-enable Metamask. This will likely ask for your password again, so make sure that you have your Metamask password handy. This step is helpful to ‘reload’ the Metamask extension, and helps speed up Metamask by restarting it, thus getting rid of its current state and restarting.

Here’s how you would do it on Brave, as an example (similar steps for Chrome and Firefox)

Go to Settings (three horizontal lines on the top right of your Brave browser), and click on Preferences

Brave Preferences for Metamask

Then go to Extensions on the left side, where you’ll see Metamask installed.

Brave Extensions Metamask

Under the ‘enabled’ column, disable (just click to disable) and then re-enable Metamask.

Note that when you do this, you’ll be asked to enter your password again. Make sure you have that handy before trying this step.

4. Close and Re-Open Browser

Sometimes your browser can take up an ungodly amount of memory on your RAM. Chrome is especially notorious for this. In these situations, Metamask will slow down as well. The best solution is to close your browser and re-open it. Make sure your browser settings are set to re-open all your sites, so you don’t lose your tabs when you restart.

When you do this, you will be asked for your Metamask password again.

In general, freeing up some computer RAM will make your Metamask faster as well, so close any large programs that you may not be using, especially browsers running in the background.

5. Change Browsers

As a final step, Metamask is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Brave currently. Try switching your browsers to make it faster. You can also exclusively use one of the browsers for all your DApp needs, and use another for regular browsing.

Hope at the end of this, you’re able to solve your slow Metamask issue. If not, feel free to leave a comment and we’ll try to help.

Photo Credit: Bob Jagendorf

Nov 292017
 

How to buy fractions of Ether
This is a guide to help you on how to buy fractions of Ether. Before starting, let’s get something straight – yes, you can buy fractions of Ether. Like other cryptocurrencies, Ethereum network’s native currency, Ether, is divisible. This is similar to how Bitcoin works, since you can also buy fractions of a Bitcoin. In fact, 1 Ether can be divided into 10^18 units, each unit called a Wei. Wei is the smallest fractional unit of Ether.

To write it out, 1 Wei = 0.000000000000000001 ETH. As you can see, there is ample scope to buy fractions of Ether!

As a quick refresher, the Ethereum network is created similar to Bitcoin, but has a Turing complete smart contract platform. This allows programmers to create decentralized applications that can be arbitrary complex. Bitcoin has a much more limited support for smart contracts. Ether is also fueling a lot of token sales, or ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings). To participate in many of these ICOs, you need to buy Ether first, to send to a smart contract.

Buy Fractions of Ether on Online Exchanges

Now that we know how Ether fractions work, it’s time to buy some. The simplest way to buy fractions of Ether is via online exchanges. You will need to connect your bank account, so you can purchase Ether directly with fiat (USD, GBP, etc.) Here are your options:

  • Coinbase: Coinbase is the simplest way to buy fractions of Ether. It is perhaps also the most trusted source of buying digital currencies and storing them. It’s a venture backed unicorn (valued over $1 billion). The San Francisco based company started in the US, but is fast expanding in many other countries as well. If Coinbase is available in your country and you’re new to crypto-assets, Coinbase is your best bet. The list of countries that Coinbase supports are: Singapore, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Canada, United States, . You can see the full list here.
  • Bithumb: This is a Korean exchange, which at the time of this writing, does the most Ether trading volume in the world! Part of the reason for high volume is there’s no fees, so the volumes get inflated. If you’re in Korea, you don’t have access to Coinbase, so Bithumb would be your best bet.
  • Buy ETH with BTC: If you have some Bitcoin already and want to convert that to Ether, then there are other options to follow, such as Bittrex, Poloniex, and Binance. This may be a good strategy even if you’re completely new to crypto-assets. In many places, it is easier to buy Bitcoin with local fiat money, and then convert into Ether, than buying Ether directly with local fiat.

Photo Credit: Flickr