What is the MyEtherWallet?

MyEtherWallet is considered a highly flexible user interface to access the Ethereum blockchain network. It is a free-to-use, open-source platform that allows users to create cryptocurrency wallets that operate securely on the Ethereum network. Released back in July 2015, the Ethereum platform has expanded rapidly in popularity, primarily due to its flexibility for developers looking to build decentralised applications (dApps).

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Contrary to what some beginner cryptocurrency investors in Ethereum may believe, MyEtherWallet is not a crypto wallet in its own right. Instead, it is a go-between that makes it easy for individuals to store Ether and other ERC-20 assets on the Ethereum platform. Although it is accessible via the web, users’ cryptocurrency wallets are stored directly on their computers, not on the MyEtherWallet servers.

Talking in more technical terms, MyEtherWallet is deemed a client-side interface that allows you to create wallets online before storing your digital assets offline in a hardware wallet, eliminating the security vulnerabilities of housing Ethereum in a web-based wallet.

MyEtherWallet Details

Wallet name: The MyEtherWallet
Coins accepted: Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC) and all other ERC-20 tokens
Linked Exchange: n/a
Countries: Available in 192 countries
Languages: 18 languages available
Mobile compatibility: Beta iOS app launched
Wallet Rating: 4/5
Wallet Type: Software

MyEtherWallet Features

Choice of coins

At the time of writing this MyEtherWallet review, the MEW interface is compatible with Ethereum, Ethereum Classic and other Ethereum (ERC-20) tokens. If you wish to convert Ether into other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, you must do so using a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange. As the MEW interface is designed to work solely on the Ethereum network, there are no plans afoot to extend its compatibility elsewhere.

Mobile & Desktop

The MyEtherWallet interface is primarily accessed via the internet, so providing your mobile device has Wi-Fi or 4G connectivity, it shouldn’t be a problem what device you use to access your MEW account. A beta version of an iOS MyEtherWallet app was released earlier this summer but, as yet, there are no plans to release an official mobile app.

Operating systems

As MyEtherWallet is an open-source interface, it should be easily accessible using all of the major operating systems on desktop and mobile devices: Windows, Mac, Linux and more.

MyEtherWallet Fees

As the MyEtherWallet interface is only an access point to transact on the Ethereum blockchain and is not a crypto wallet in its own right, it does not need to charge MyEtherWallet fees to its users. The portal is entirely free and open-source.

Security

In terms of the safety of MyEtherWallet users, it’s undoubtedly important to make sure that you always access the portal via the ‘https://’ protocol. Many that have accessed via ‘http://’ protocol have been the victims of phishing attacks, resulting in the loss of sensitive data and, worse still, digital assets. Aside from that, MEW generates a unique private key for your connected, compatible wallet that cannot be accessed by anyone online. Its support for cold storage and offline transactions makes it a highly secure option for Ethereum investors.

MyEtherWallet Customer Support

The founders of MyEtherWallet operate a regularly updated Knowledge Base, which features an increasing library of frequently asked questions (FAQs) ranging from getting started and security measures through to tokens and Gas fees. There is no live chat functionality offered to users at the time of writing this MyEtherWallet review.

Pros and Cons of MyEtherWallet

Pros

√ Free service
√ Open source
√ Clear, easy to understand ‘how-to’ videos
√ Never stores sensitive data on the MyEtherWallet servers
√ Support for offline cold storage transactions

Cons

X Instances of phishing attacks have been noted
X Not a cryptocurrency wallet in its own right

Guide to Setting up a MyEtherWallet

–  Visit the MyEtherWallet website and ensure you are visiting using the ‘https://’ protocol as opposed to the ‘http://’ protocol to avoid phishing attacks.

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–  Create a New Wallet and enter your chosen password.

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–  Generate and download your unique keystore file.

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–  Keep your private key safe and accessible to your eyes only. Then select compatible software and hardware wallets to interact with the MyEtherWallet interface.

Is MyEtherWallet a scam?

There are many asking the question “is MyEtherWallet safe?” Our MyEtherWallet review is designed to allay those fears and reinforce its positive features as a tool for interfacing directly with the Ethereum network, as opposed to operating as a standalone app. The MyEtherWallet interface can be connected directly with other industry-leading wallets including hardware wallets such as Trezor, Ledger and the official Ethereum Wallet.

Is MyEtherWallet safe for beginner crypto investors as well as experienced users? Yes. Put simply, it gives individuals the ability to create wallets of their own and authenticate transactions 100% offline. This is a far more secure way of transacting Ether than going through a web browser where sensitive details can be manipulated and stolen by cyber-criminals.

A Better Alternative to MyEtherWallet

With the ability to interact with hardware wallets via the MyEtherWallet interface, this method of buying, selling and storing Ethereum is one of the most secure options available. It allows users to make transactions offline, which is particularly beneficial for those sending and receiving high-value amounts of cryptocurrency.

Nevertheless, if you grow frustrated about physically owning and storing Ethereum and other ERC-20 tokens, you might be interested in an alternative way of profiting on the price moves of Ethereum and other Ethereum tokens.

Instead of physically buying Ethereum, you can invest in the price of Ethereum rising or falling by trading it on the world’s leading social trading platform. Brokers accept trades on leading cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Bitcoin using contracts for difference (CFDs). When you sign up to eToro, you can submit ‘Buy’ trades if you predict the value of Ethereum will increase in the coming days, or a ‘Sell’ order if you feel its price will drop. It is then possible to close your initial CFD order and take a profit if the price moves the way you anticipated or close it for a loss if the price moves against you.

As a social trading platform, you can also take part in discussions on the value of digital assets and even follow trades of the most experienced and profitable members of the eToro community.

If you are seeking a simple, secure and intuitive way to store, transfer and receive Ether, hopefully our MyEtherWallet review demonstrates that the MEW interface ticks all the right boxes. Its compatibility with many of the leading hardware wallets and its support for offline transactions makes it a credible option for crypto investors. Of course, if you’d rather consider the prospect of trading the price of Ethereum using cryptocurrency CFDs, be sure to read our eToro review in greater detail.

MyEtherWallet FAQs

Does a MyEtherWallet support Bitcoin and other altcoins?

MyEtherWallet only supports Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Testnet Ethereum, and any other Ethereum Standard tokens. It does not support other tokens. Its Support Centre recommends using Bity.com or Shapeshift.io to convert other crypto coins into Ethereum.

Where can you buy, sell or trade Ether and other crypto tokens via a MyEtherWallet?

There are numerous reputable crypto exchanges that you can use to buy and sell Ether and other ERC-20 tokens, including: Bitfinex, Bittrex exchange, Changelly, Coinbase exchange, Kraken and Poloniex.

What happens if MyEtherWallet goes down?

MyEtherWallet is not a web-based wallet. Users aren’t given a username and login and nothing is ever saved on the GitHub servers. It is merely an intuitive interface that allows investors to interact with the Ethereum blockchain. In the event MyEtherWallet goes down, users would be required to find alternative measures to access the Ethereum blockchain. Remember – your Ether is not stored within your MyEtherWallet. It is stored in whichever wallet you generated via the MyEtherWallet site.

What is Gas?

The Ethereum network authenticates the buying and selling of Ether, which is the fuel for the network. Whenever you transfer Ether tokens, interact with smart contracts or do any other actions on the blockchain, these must be paid for. These payments are made in ‘Gas’ which is paid in Ether, acting similarly as mining fees on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Is it possible to turn on 2FA for a MyEtherWallet?

In a word, no. Two-factor Authentication (2FA) is something designed for server-side applications, providing an additional layer of security on top of usernames and passwords. The MyEtherWallet is a client-side application and does not hold users’ keys on its servers; nor does it give users access to keys on their servers. Users own their own keys, giving them direct access to authenticate transactions on the Ethereum blockchain.

Why should you trust MyEtherWallet?

Importantly, it is possible to run your MyEtherWallet offline and use a hardware wallet to mitigate any security risks. Traditionally, MyEtherWallet operates from the GitHub servers, but you can also run it from your computer in the event you have no internet connection. The founders of MyEtherWallet have been in existence since August 2015 and don’t run this wallet for profit.