Unlike other cross-chain projects, Avalanche runs two chains: Avalanche X-chain and Avalanche C-chain. The Avalanche X-chain is only used to receive and send Avalanche tokens (AVAX) and cannot be used on Web3 platforms or added to Web3 wallets like MetaMask. The X-chain can only be accessed from the Avalanche wallet.
The Avalanche C-chain can be added on MetaMask used across DeFi and other decentralized application platforms.
With over 10 million confirmed users, MetaMask is one of the most used Ethereum wallets, and coupled with support from Ethereum developers, it is arguably one of the most trustworthy wallets to store your ether (ETH), other cross-chain tokens, and more. MetaMask's multi-chain support allows you to access cross chains and Layer 2 networks.
How to add Avalanche Network to MetaMask
There are two options to add the Avalanche C-chain Network to your MetaMask wallet.
Adding Avalanche to MetaMask Manually
You can access MetaMask through a Chrome extension or a mobile application; the steps are basically the same, regardless of whichever one you are using. I’ll assume you already have the Metamask extension or wallet installed and your Ethereum account set up properly, if not, simply download the wallet and set up your wallet properly following these steps, and safeguard your seed phrase… it's very important!
Step 1: Log into your MetaMask, click on the network bar on the top right corner
By default, the network is set to the Ethereum Mainnet. This bar lets you know which network your MetaMask is currently on.
Step 2: Select Add Network from the drop-down.
Step 3: Fill in the Details
This triggers a pop-up form with the following fields. Instead of entering the details manually, you can copy and paste these directly into their respective fields, which speeds things up and reduces the chances of typos and other errors.
Network Name: Avalanche Network
New RPC URL: https://api.avax.network/ext/bc/C/rpc
All you have to do is click the drop-down menu beside the circle icon at the top right corner of your wallet, and select Avalanche network from the Menu, and you can access Avalanche Network from your MetaMask wallet.
You can now connect to Avalanche Network dApps from the MetaMask extension. Visit the dApp’s website from your Chrome browser to connect to the Avalanche Network. Mobile Application users can access the Avalanche Network via the DApp browser. Click the Menu at the top left corner and select ‘Browser’ from the drop-down.
Adding Avalanche to MetaMask through Snowtrace
An easier way to add Avalanche network to your MetaMask wallet is via the Avalanche network explorer.
Step 1: Visit https://snowtrace.io
Snowtrace is a blockchain explorer for Avalanche, just like Etherscan for Ethereum, or BSCscan for the Binance Smart Chain.
Step 2: Click "Add C-Chain Network" at the bottom right corner of the website
If you're not already logged into MetaMask, you'll receive a prompt to log in after clicking "Add C-Chain Network". All you have to do now is confirm the connection request while logged into your Metamask account, and you're set!
How to Add AVAX token to MetaMask
AVAX is the main token of Avalanche network, just like ether (ETH) on the Ethereum Mainnet. Transacting on Avalanche network is easy, with the most common complication being the network selection.
To send AVAX tokens from an exchange to your MetaMask wallet, ensure you copied your wallet address correctly, and select the Avalanche C-chain as the withdrawal network.
Joel is deeply interested in the technologies behind cryptocurrencies and blockchain networks. In his over 7 years of involvement in the space, he helps startups build a stronger internet presence through written content. He is the founder of CryptocurrencyScripts. Follow the author on Twitter @agboifesinachi