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Signing methods

This page describes a brief history of the signing RPC methods in MetaMask. Learn how to use the recommended signing methods.


eth_sign is MetaMask's original signing method. It allows signing an arbitrary hash, which means it can be used to sign transactions, or any other data, making it a dangerous phishing risk.


eth_sign is deprecated. MetaMask disables this method by default and doesn't recommend using this method in production. However, some applications (usually internal administrator panels) use this method for its ease of use, or because of an inability to change the associated dapp. If a wallet user must interact with a dapp that still uses eth_sign and accepts the risks, they can still re-enable it through advanced settings.


personal_sign is the next implemented signing method, which adds a prefix to the signed data so it can't impersonate transactions. This method also displays human-readable text when UTF-8 encoded, making it a popular choice for site logins.

The text prefix of personal_sign makes signatures expensive to verify on-chain. If you don't need signatures to be efficiently processed on-chain, you can use this method.


EIP-712 introduced eth_signTypedData, which is:

  • Cheap to verify on chain.
  • Human-readable.
  • Protected against phishing signatures.

If on-chain verifiability cost is a high priority for you, we recommend using this method.

The EIP-712 specification changed several times while retaining the same EIP, meaning that MetaMask originally implemented eth_signTypedData as the earliest proposed version, then implemented later versions with hard-versioned method names:


All early versions of this method lack later security improvements. We recommend using the latest version, eth_signTypedData_v4.

To avoid compatibility issues between clients, we recommend using the hard-versioned method names. The missing v2 represents an intermediary design that the Cipher browser implemented – MetaMask has room to implement it if there's enough developer demand for it.