MetaMask has integrated additional functionality into the latest version of its browser plugin. Users are now able to swap tokens directly through the Firefox extension. There is a significant fee added on top of trades, which irks a lot of users.
The New MetaMask Functionality
Converting between different tokens and assets on the blockchain often requires using trading platforms. Either in centralized or decentralized format, it can be a painstaking process. Offering a viable alternative can set MetaMask apart from other browser-based cryptocurrency wallets. Its current integration of this functionality, however, leaves much to be desired.
To be more specific, this new functionality is only available to Firefox users right now. As such, it may undergo some changes before it hits other platforms. The core functionality is solid, as MetaMask will check for the best token swapping rates and present those to the users in the interface. It is a good way to facilitate this functionality, and it seems to work rather well.
Unfortunately, that is where the positive aspects appear to end. MetaMask does not display which DEXes it taps for the specific rates. That is not necessarily a deal breaker, but it also raises a lot of questions in the process. Transparency is often an issue in cryptocurrency, and this approach only makes things worse for no apparent reason.
Making matters worse is the exuberant fee MetaMask wants to charge. For every trade, a fee of 0.875% is added on top of the total transaction amount. It is not uncommon for service providers to add a fee on top of the functionality provided. However, 0.875% is ludicrous, as it is much higher than what users would pay for doing the work manually.
Funding Future MetaMask Development
It is expected there will always be a small fee for this functionality. After all, convenience means paying a premium price for services one could easily perform oneself. This rate, however, will need to be lowered by at least half to make it even remotely attractive. That seems unlikely, considering how the utilized DEX is also hidden from view.
According to the team, this fee will serve as a way to fund ongoing development of the MetaMask service. It is evident that ongoing development costs money, but charging users for a service they don’t even need is not necessarily the best approach either.
Charging the providers of the service a fee would be a better option, yet that seems rather unlikely as well. A very interesting development worth keeping an eye on.