Quick inner navigation:
When it comes to trading, transacting or investing in cryptocurrencies, the most important player of the game is the cryptocurrency wallet. The wallets for the digital currencies are very different from the traditional wallets that we are used to. The digital wallets can be in a physical form (for example hardware wallets, paper wallets) as well as in form of a software, a browser extension, and an online one.
Storing coins in a crypto exchange is pretty risky. This is because exchanges hold your coins for you in their digital wallets once you have purchased them. So technically, they operate like a bank. The only problem is that they are vulnerable to attacks, which can result in a loss of coins.
Being able to have full control of your private keys and passwords means that you have real ownership of your digital coins. But, to have control of your passwords and private keys, you have to have your own wallet. This is what is amazing about my Etherum Wallet because it enables you to own your own wallet and manage your own passwords and private keys. Not many wallets are capable of providing such an incredible service.
Please note that the most important factor about the wallets, that you always need to take into account, is the security. In case your wallet is not secure enough, there is a big risk that you may lose your coins because of a hacker attack. Since the introduction of the first cryptocurrencies, there have always been debates about which wallet is the best or which one is the safest.
MyEtherWallet, which is often referred to as MEW wallet, is one of the most well-known wallets amongst the crypto enthusiasts. MyEtherWallet is very well known because of the wide variety of the cryptocurrencies it is supporting. In this MyEtherWallet review, we will try to get a better insight and understand how the website works, what kind of services it offers to its users and so on.
What is myEtherWallet?
The open source wallet known as MyEtherWallet (MEW) was launched in 2015 by Kosala Hemachandra and Taylor Monahan. The wallet has gained popularity over the years especially as it keeps increasing the number of the supported crypto coins and tokens. MyEtherWallet is considered to be a client-side tool, which means that as a user you get a private key and have a full control over your key and funds.
MyEtherWallet claims that nobody else has a control over the private keys other than the users themselves. The bright side of this feature is that the risks of getting hacked are lower compared to when somebody else has the private keys. However, from the other hand, as nobody else has a control over the private keys there is no way to recover them in case the user loses the key.
In other words, if a user loses the private key, the password or the wallet file itself, then the user loses the ownership of the account and cannot make transfers anymore. Please note, that this is a major difference that is between client-side wallets like the MEW wallet and wallets that are inserted in cryptocurrency exchange platforms (e.g. Kraken, Coinbase, Bittrex etc.).
While using the wallets that are integrated into exchange platforms your funds and private keys are held not only by you – the user but also by the company. Similar exchange platforms have an account on the blockchain, where they keep all of the funds that they and their customers own. This means that if you own an X amount of ETH on an exchange website wallet, it means that the company has an X ETH liability that is owned by you. MyEtherWallet allows its users to transfer their funds from a wallet of an exchange website and become the only and the fully controlling party of their funds.
There have been debates that as an online wallet MyEtherWallet is not safe enough as well. The main reasoning behind this argument is that the coins are not stored on a cold storage, therefore, this fact is increasing the risks of hack and thefts. However, MyEtherWallet claims that instead, it is fighting against other threats such as computer crashes, accidents that can damage the physical wallets (e.g. hardware, paper wallets) and so on. Please note that while using the MEW wallet you are not advised to save your coins on a cloud storage, entering your keys in other websites or saving them on an email or social media account.
MyEtherWallet allows its users to change their unencrypted private key and make it an encrypted private key. The process can be done through MEW Chrome Extension or by importing the private key into geth. If you choose to do this through Chrome Extension you need to download the Chrome Extension and install it.
Then you need to use your private key in order to add a new wallet. After entering the passwords you have to save the wallet. Next, you have to go to the “My Wallets” section, click on “View”. Here you need to enter your newly created password. You may download the file of key store that is encrypted with the password.
After taking these steps you can access your wallet with this new password. From this point on you choose whether you want to execute the rest of your actions on the Chrome Extension or on MyEtherWallet website.
MyEtherWallet Hardware Wallet Encryption
You can also move you MyEtherWallet funds into hardware wallet. In this case, we will look at the example of Ledger Nano S, which is one of the safest and most outstanding cryptocurrency wallets. After you buy the device you need to set it up accordingly.
When you hold the Ledger Nano S device you will see buttons on the top part of the device. You need to press the two buttons at the same time. This way you will make the device start its configuration. The device will ask you whether you want to set the wallet up as a new device, answer as follows based on your personal case. Then you need to set up a pin.
Please keep in mind that you will be using this pin every time you want to access your Ledger wallet. Besides the pin Ledger Nano S will provide you with a random 24-word passphrase that is referred to as a seed. You will need this seed when you want to restore the wallet.
After you set up your Ledger Nano S wallet you can enable it to work with MEW wallet. To do so, first of all, you have to enable the support of the browser. Now you need to open the app of Ethereum by pressing the two buttons on the wallet at the same time.
Go to the “Settings”, choose “Contract Data”, click “Yes” and you are done. In order to access the Nano S with MyEtherWallet, you need to go to the MyEtherWallet website, navigate to the “Send Ether and Tokens” section and click on “Ledger Wallet”.
Then you should plug in you Ledger Nano S wallet and go to the Ethereum app. Then click on the “Connect to Ledger Wallet” option and you will be able to access the Ethereum wallets on the Ledger Nano S wallet. At this stage, you will see a list of various Ethereum addresses that are stored on the Nano S and you can use those. As soon as you select one of the addresses, you are ready to use the Nano S wallet.
There are no deposit or withdrawal limits on MyEtherWallet.
MyEtherWallet supports cryptocurrencies such as ETH, Testnet ETH, ETC, RSK, EXP, UBQ, MUSICOIN as well as all of the other ERC20 tokens. For the sake of clarity here’s what ERC20 means. The technical standard ERC20 is used on the blockchain for smart contracts to create tokens. ERC is the abbreviated version of Ethereum Request for Comment, meanwhile, the number 20 is assigned to the request. ERC20 allows the developers to predict the interactions among tokens as accurately as possible by defining a list of rules that refer to Ethereum tokens that are part of the overall Ethereum ecosystem. Those rules cover things like how is the token transfer taking place between different addresses as well as the way the data is accessed within each token. As of 2018, there are approximately 21,000 + ERC20 token contracts.
Does MyEtherWallet Requires Verification?
MyEtherWallet does not require its users to go through a complex verification process. Users do not need to get verified with a government ID or email. As a user, you simply need to put in a password and you are good to go. With MyEtherWallet, you get a private key. The key is of utmost importance because it contains information that enables you to access your wallet. If you lose this key, there is no way of recovering it. Even myEtherWallet cannot help you recover it. MyEtherWallet is a client-side application, so the 2-factor authentication feature does not apply because it’s only used for server-side applications mainly as an extra layer of security.
Before jumping into the payments there are some terms and ideas that you should know about as a MyEtherWallet user. To begin with, the overall network is referred to as Ethereum. Ether aka ETH is the fuel of the network. As a user you need to pay when you execute different operations on the blockchain, for example, sending ETH, sending tokens and so on. These payments are calculated in “gas” and the medium that you pay with is ETH. To make things clearer let’s say you buy 2 liters of orange juice for $ 2, in this case, liters is the “gas”, and the US dollars paid for the 2 liters is the ETH. The payments on the Ethereum network are charged regardless it is a successful one or if it fails. The justification behind this is the work of the miners who validate and execute the transaction in Ethereum network language they “compute”. Another measure in which you may see your payments is TX fee, which is equal to gas limit times gas price. As a user of MyEtherWallet, you can adjust the gas price. Generally speaking, sending tokens usually takes approximately from 50,000 to 100,000 gas, therefore, the overall TX fee goes up to 0.001 ETH or 0.002 ETH.
- MyEtherWallet supports a number of hardware wallets such as TREZOR, Ledger Nano S.
- As MyEtherWallet supports ERC20 tokens, it is one of the most common wallets amongst ICO investors.
- MyEtherWallet enables interactions with smart contracts
Is MyEtherWallet safe?
Before becoming a MyEtherWallet user there are some questions that you need to ask yourself, for instance – Is MyEtherWallet legit? Can I trust MyEtherWallet? In order to get answers to similar questions, there are some parameters you should take into account.
When it comes to safety, maybe MyEtherWallet is not the best. This wallet is safer than a lot of online wallets and wallets that are integrated into exchange platforms as in case of MyEtherWallet you are the one taking control over your funds and your private key. However, when it comes to threats such as hacks and thefts, then MyEtherWallet is not secure enough as well. A bright example of this may be the hack that happened on the 24th of April 2018 when a hackers led the MyEtherWallet users to a different page that looked very similar to the MyEtherWallet page and stole the funds of the innocent users. The hack resulted in losses as big as $ 152,000 with the exchange rates at that time.
The community trust towards MyEtherWallet is usually quite high. As a well-known wallet with a number of unique features, people tend to like the services of the wallet. However, the paradigm shift came up after the hack accident that was mentioned above.
MyEtherWallet official website is full of guides and articles that help the users to get around the website and use the MyEtherWallet services properly. There are also sections such as Quick Help and Frequently Asked Questions aka FAQ that tend you give comprehensive answers to questions of all kinds. In case the users fail to find answers to their questions they have a chance to contact the customer support team, which is mainly done via email.
The handling speed mainly depends on the traffic and how many people are making transactions. Generally speaking, MyEtherWallet does everything possible to handle transactions as quickly as possible. The worst case scenarios can be a few hours until a transaction is confirmed.
How to use MyEtherWallet?
Step 1: Getting started
- To get started you need to go to the official MyEtherWallet website.
Step 2: Create a wallet
- Click on the “Create new wallet” option. Enter a password that is strong enough and make sure to memorize it. This step is a very significant one because this way you encrypt or in other words protect your private keys. However, please note that this step is not generating any kind of private keys and the only password is not enough for getting an access to your wallet.
Step 3: Saving the keys
- Here you need to download the UTC file / Key store. Please make sure to save the file to a USB drive or to integrate a hardware wallet with MEW. It’s important to mention that this is already the private key but in an encrypted version. In order to access it you need your password otherwise you will not have an access to it.
- Make sure you understand and agree with it and after doing so, go ahead and click on the button that says “I understand. Continue”.
- You are advised to print or write down the private key and keep it in a paper version too. You are advised to do so for avoiding situations such as losing the private key etc.
- You should unlock your wallet from UTC file / Key store and place it in a USB file. Make sure you record all the information and you record it properly. This is essential as in case of losing the significant pieces of information make cause to loss of access
Generally, setting up a wallet on your computer is pretty straightforward if you follow the instructions. What is crucial to remember is that if you lose your private key, MyEthereumWallet cannot help you recover it because it is not responsible for storing your key. It is only an interface where users and the Ethereum blockchain can interact.
MyEtherWallet is useful especially for users who want to have a full control over their coins. It offers a number of features that make it a quite user-friendly wallet. But like all other wallets, MyEtherWallet is not perfect. One major issue is how easily its service can be compromised. If the Ethereum Network experiences high traffic, this could lead to congestion and as a result, its service could literally come to a standstill. This means that it can take hours before transactions are confirmed until the congestion eases up.
- It is open source.
- It’s compatible with hardware wallets such as TREZOR and Ledger Nano S etc.
- It is legit.
- It has an interactive and user-friendly interface.
- Secure and easy interaction with the Ethereum Blockchain.
- Great customer support.
- Hardware wallets not supported by the MyEtherWallet CX Chrome plugin.
- Network congestion-related issues.
- Risks of hacks and thefts.
- Not a very simple wallet for beginners
Who should use My Ether Wallet?
MyEtherWallet is ideal for ICO investors, Ethereum traders, and users who are serious about cryptocurrency trading.
Thank you for checking out this MyEtherWallet review. Hopefully, it was useful to you. Check out our website for more articles about similar topics.