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So you've come across a great project and can't wait to get your hands on one of their exciting tokens as soon as possible. Unfortunately, you need to download a new wallet in order to purchase some. No problem! You found MetaMask on the app store, downloaded it, created and backed up your seed, and you're all set. You open MetaMask, and...the token isn't there. Hmm. You search for the token using the wallet's search function. A lot of weird coins, but not the one you want. Now you're stumped...what is up with this hunk of junk?!?!?
Does this scenario sound familiar? If it does, don't worry, it's basically a baptism by fire for all new users when they start out. We've got you covered though! In this tutorial, we're going to walk through the process of adding tokens to your wallet.
Every token on the Ethereum Decentralised Finance (DeFi) network has a unique identifier called a Contract ID. The Contract ID is basically a unique identifier that is there to ensure that everyone is referring to the same token. The contract ID is tied to all of the logic behind the token itself, and acts as an address for exchanges and wallets to use for communicating with them.
MetaMask comes with a lot of pre-configured tokens, but due to the nature of DeFi and relative ease of creating tokens, new ones are added every day, so every now and then you will need to add the token in manually. Doing this is fairly straightforward and is pretty much the same for any token you want to add.
Before you add any tokens though, you need to make sure that you're on the right network. By default, MetaMask is set to use the Ethereum Main Network. This network is the original and biggest network on Ethereum, but a lot of newer tokens are using the BSC and Polygon networks (among others), and these need to be set up before you add your tokens. We've got a full tutorial on how to do this for both Polygon and BSC in case you aren't sure how to do this yet.
Once you've set up and selected the right network, you can finally add in your token:
- Open MetaMask
- Select Wallet from the menu (left side of the screen, via the 3-lines menu)
- Select the appropriate network
- At the bottom of the list of existing tokens, select Import Tokens
Once you reach this point, you will need to enter some details about the token. Usually the project will provide these for you, but you may want to double check them by searching for the token on the appropriate contract scanning site. Here are the scanners for Ethereum, BSC, and Polygon (these will be available from the menu in MetaMask if you set up your network correctly too):
- Ethereum: https://etherscan.io/
- Binance Smart Chain: https://bscscan.com/
- Polygon: https://polygonscan.com/
Take note of the contract ID, the token symbol, and the precision for your token, and enter them into the appropriate fields:
If you’re going to take your time on one step, this is the one. Make sure that the contract ID is the one for the token you want to use. Double check the first and last few characters at least. If you enter a valid contract ID, the rest of the fields should automatically populate as well. Check these against the scanner just in case. There are some scams out there where people create similar-sounding tokens to trick people into investing with them. Don’t be fooled!
Once you're confident that you're adding the correct coin, click Import, and you're ready to go!
When it's time to buy and swap tokens, you may find that you need to do a similar process on the swap app itself. For example, in pancake swap, you need to use the Manage Tokens>Tokens screen to add the token when you want to use that service. Once you know how do this in MetaMask however, the process should feel a lot more familiar to you whenever you need to do it elsewhere.
I hope you enjoyed this article and it brought you one step closer to mastering cryptocurrency. We'll keep doing more introductory tutorials as well, so follow along to learn more about this exciting new world!.
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