Cryptocurrency exchanges are not very safe and convenient places to store your coins, mainly because they pose a threat to your funds and risk exposing personal information online. As these exchanges are still in their nascent stage you cannot fully rely on them. Here comes the role of digital wallets. They provide full control over your private keys and passwords, these wallets are known to be safe and easy to use.
What is MyEtherWallet?
MyEtherWallet is an Ethereum wallet that helps you store ether coins while interacting with the Ethereum blockchain. It allows you to create wallets in the web browser with the added advantage of storing all your personal information on your computer and not on MEW servers.
It is an open-source platform launched in 2015 by Kvhnuke and Tayvano, that not only stores ether coins but also ERC20 tokens. As the wallet doesn’t work like a bank, they do not charge any commission fee or transaction fee.
How do you use MyEtherWallet?
You need to register first on the MyEtherWallet website to start using it. For enhanced security reasons, you could use MetaMask, a Chrome extension which will protect your private keys from malware and phishing sites. As soon as you encounter a phishing website, MetaMask will block you and flash a red warning sign, warning you to transfer funds from MyEtherWallet to MetaMask.
Creating and getting started with the process is easy.Follow the steps below and you’ll be on your way!
- Go to MyEtherWallet website: https://www.myetherwallet.com/. Ensure that you are using https: rather than http: for more security. Make sure you see a green display of “MYETHERWALLET LLC [US]” certificate in the URL bar.
- Now you can create new wallet by clicking “New Wallet” from the main menu.
- Next, create a password and memorize it for future reference.
- A unique keystore file will be generated by the wallet using the password you entered. Ascertain that you do not share or lose your keys before downloading the file.
- Next, you will receive your private key which can be printed as a “paper wallet”.Keep this information private and secure as this is the key to your accounts and funds.
- You can use the wallet in conjunction with other wallets; be it hardware like TREZOR, Ledger Nano S and Digital Bitboxor software like official Ethereum Wallet found in the Mist browser. You can also create a new wallet if you do not have any existing wallet interface.
- You need to create an account by entering appropriate information required. Your account will hold information like account address, your balance and the unique QR code associated with your account.
- You can now transfer Ether from your existing account to the new account or vice versa using the MEW address.
- You can also buy ether by exchanging other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin through ShapeShift, Bittrex or Kraken or exchanging fiat currency via Coinbase.
How do you make payments with MyEtherWallet?
Now that you have learnt how to create an account, let’s look at how to use it to make payments.
- Click on ‘Send Ether & Tokens’ on the MEW website.
- Enter your credentials to access the account.
- Enter the address of the wallet of the recipient in the ‘To’ field.
- Enter the amount you want to transfer.
- Enter the ‘Gas Limit’ i.e., the transaction fee. The transaction fee is flexible and you can pay according to your needs. Higher transaction fee means faster transaction.
- Transactions once initiated cannot be retracted or cancelled so make sure you enter the correct When you are ready, click on ‘Generate Transaction’.
- Depending on factors like transaction fee and network speed, the total time taken for the transaction will differ. That’s it! You have successfully transferred ether coins.
How secure is your MyEtherWallet?
The main questions that haunt everyone are:
- How secure and safe are these wallets?
- Can I trust these wallets?
- Are they authentic?
Well, it is natural for you to consider all these questions so let us help you out. There are both advantages and disadvantages of being an open source tool. While it is vulnerable to attacks, bugs and other issues, the developers are constantly trying to fix it and release new versions with better bug fixes.
Next important thing to note is that you can use MEW with other hardware wallets like TREZOR, Ledger or the official Ethereum Wallet which are highly secure. A large part of MEW’s security depends wholly and solely on you -the user and how you manage and ensure that your wallet is secure.
The main factor that clinches the trust of users is that they do not handle or store any of your private keys. Your wallet can be run offline and with other hardware wallets.
As far as authenticity and reputation are concerned, it is a well-established brand and was launched back in 2015. Many people who have joined and used their service, are happy with it and have given good reviews.
What do you need to look out for?
There are positive and negative aspects of everything. But being informed about the negative aspects can influence your decision, and more often than not, can help you arrive at the right choice.
The service itself has no red flags or negative comments but its huge popularity has led to a number of phishing websites which pose themselves as the real website, even on large forums like bitcointalk. Make sure you access right URL when accessing MyEtherWallet.com.
As mentioned earlier, there are no complaints regarding the actual services provided by the company which is a big relief. However, users may find it difficult to adapt to the concept of the open-sourcing and client-side blockchain. This can be overcome by visiting the FAQ section of the website which broadly explains each concept and the procedures to be followed.
Let’s summarize the Pros and Cons.
- It is an open source tool wherein developers are free to fix bugs and issues.
- It is compatible with hardware and software wallets making it even more secure.
- It is legitimate and authentic.
- It is easy to use, has aninteractive display and also gives documentation on how to be used.
- It has a secure and easy interaction with Ethereum blockchain.
- You can access your wallet through the web but your actual wallet is stored on your computer and not on MEW servers.
- It does not store any passwords or private keys to your wallet and hence there is no issue of a malware attack.
- You can also transact offline.
- The customer support center is always ready to help in case of a mishap.
- You are most likely to be attacked by phishing sites and hackers.
- Hardware wallets are not supported by the MyEtherWallet CX Chrome plugin.
- Due to its vast user base, it may sometimes face network congestion problems.
To further acquaint you with this wallet, let’s start by focusing the spotlight on some of its special features. You probably know that this platform supports hardware wallets like Trezor, Ledger Nano S, Jaxx wallet, Mist, Geth, and Metamask. Using hardware wallets in conjunction with MyEtherWallet will enable you to send and receive coins and ERC-20 tokens through the MyEtherWallet platform. This feature is exclusive to this wallet and you may not find this in other wallets.
You can also buy Ethereum Gas which is used to create Ethereum Smart Contracts.
Customarily, MyEtherWallet is good for ICO investors and users who want to trade early stage cryptocurrencies which does not have matured ecosystem. It can also be used by any common person who wants exude full control over their wallet and coins.
Verdict on MyEtherWallet Review
To reiterate the private key is of utmost importance as it contains the information of your account, beware that if you lose it, there is no recovering it back.
If anyone gains access to your key, you would face grave consequences, as you cannot stop or cancel transactions and neither can you reset the password or private key. While you can transfer ether using this wallet, you can also transact following cryptocurrencies ETC, Tesnet, UBQ, EXP, MUSICOIN, RSK and all ERC-20 tokens (Ethereum standard tokens). All in all, it is a great wallet with many features and high-level security which makes it an indispensable piece of technology for newcomers or experienced users alike. Moreover, there is no deposit to be paid or withdrawal fees charged.
You just need to be aware of using the correct website and not getting into the trap of phishing and malware websites. Looking at it from the company’s perspective, it is pretty much a great service with satisfied users till now.