Bitcoins being the top currency in the online market now has a competitor: Ethereum. Since its release back in July 2015, it surged across the market and reached second place to the ever-popular bitcoins. Investors are now devoting more and more money to this cryptocurrency.
To be able to effectively utilize this currency, one needs a reliable Ethereum wallet. When it comes to security, ease of use and a user-friendly interface, My Ether Wallet (MEW) comes in.
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What is MEW?
MEW was released on August 12, 2015, as Ether Wallet Generator. It is a wallet generator that interacts directly with the Ethereum blockchain. It is designed to hold and store Ether (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), and any standard Ethereum Token (ERC-20). One of its best features is it stores funds directly on your personal computer instead of an online platform that interacts with servers.
What are its features?
Accessibility is a key ingredient for this wallet as it supports opening it in a web browser as well as with other wallets like Geth, Mist, MetaMask, Jaxx Wallet, Ledger Nano S hardware wallet, and TREZOR Wallet. It is completely free to use, excluding the fees for sending Ether. These fees go to Miners who work on the Ethereum Blockchain and not to MEW.
How does it work?
To create a wallet in My Ether Wallet, one should first visit their site and verify that it is legitimate by checking the URL – https://myetherwallet.com. This must be done to avoid security issues and prevent your account from being phished. If the site is legitimate, proceed to make a new wallet on the greeting page which states “create a new wallet.” After this, the keystore must be downloaded to generate a unique keystore file. A key will be generated soon after which must be kept safe and private. This key will be used to open your wallet and make transactions. Sign in and enjoy the features of My Ether wallet like sending ether, receiving ether, transferring ether from other wallets, and even converting other cryptocurrencies to ether.
How safe is it to use MEW?
The site itself answers this question in their “Help” tab. Security using MEW is subjective and depends on how a user utilizes it. Having an offline feature which enables the user to initiate transactions and store funds directly in their personal computer makes it highly secure compared to online wallets which are prone to phishing. It can also link to other known Ethereum wallets which are already known for their security. The only issue that may arise here is when a perpetrator gains access to the user’s keystore and therefore manages to open their MEW wallet.
Pros of MEW
- Friendly User Interface
- Free to use
- In-app Tutorials on How To Use It
- Supports many popular ether wallets
- Funds are stored offline, on your PC
- Supports transactions online and offline
- Very secure when used properly
Cons of MEW
- Prone to Phishing and Hacking
- Keystore may get stolen/accessed depending on how the user kept it