What is MetaMask Institutional?

MetaMask Institutional (or MMI for short) gives you all the cutting-edge Web3 capabilities and security that you've come to expect from the world's most popular crypto wallet, combined with the tools and capabilities you need to comply with a traditional finance environment.

 

MetaMask Institutional overview

 

MMI is a product developed by Consensys Software Inc., the parent company of MetaMask, to respond to the needs of institutional customers. While the world of Web3 continues to innovate and bring novel technologies into being, permissionlessly, operating with and managing these novel assets within the regulatory and legal boundaries laid out for businesses and institutions is another matter entirely.

In order to enable these traditional businesses to operate in these new waters, MMI ships with a suite of KYC/AML tools, and integrations with multiple third-party key custodians. 

 

Key Custody in MMI

One of the key features in MMI is, in fact, not in the product: our partnerships with third-party key custodians. 

Public blockchain technology was designed to place authority and control over a given wallet's address and assets completely in the hands of the user. While incredibly empowering to the individual, there are many contexts in which constraints on that power are necessary, such as in a DAO, or in the context of a financial institution, where an team may be managing assets, and oversight of asset movements is required.

 

In the parlance of blockchain tech, a 'key' is a long number, the possession and use of which programmatically enables access to the wallet's assets. 

 

This is where a key custodian comes in. The custodian holds your keys, and is charged with verifying and approving or refusing any transaction that is attempted through the use of the wallet. While this may seem contrary to the "spirit" of the crypto world, early experiences with teams that shared wallet keys amongst them have shown that there will continue to be a need for this type of oversight, even in this new environment.

 

Check out our list of custodians here to determine which is the best fit for you.

 

And lastly--

A note on Private Keys vs the Secret Recovery Phrase

If you're familiar with MetaMask and how it works, you'll understand the importance of the Secret Recovery Phrase and its relationship with a wallet; if not, take the time to understand the building blocks of this technology with our primer here.

In MMI, however, you may find yourself interacting more with the private keys of a given account, rather than the SRP of an entire wallet. An additional difference from your traditional MetaMask experience is that instead of creating an SRP yourself in the app, you'll be doing it through your custodian of choice.

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