Launched in 2015, MyEtherWallet (MEW) is an Ethereum client-side wallet. This means that it only allows users to store Ether and all Ethereum based tokens, under one Ethereum private key.
Compatible with both mobile and desktop devices, MyEtherWallet has a lot of flexibility, like linking the mobile wallet to the web version, linking a MyEtherWallet to Metamask or Draper, linking a MyEtherWallet to several hardware wallets, directly importing your Ether private key unto a MyEtherWallet, and so on.
Over the course of this review we will be looking at: major features you will find on MEW, how to create a new MEW, how to fund and spend funds using your MEW, how to link your MEW to other wallets, and basic security best practices when using MEW.
Creating a new MyEtherWallet
There are the mobile and desktop version of MyEtherWallet; however, for the sake of this review, we will be using the desktop version for setup. Also, there are two options in creating a new MEW. This is either by using the Keystore file or by using the (12/24) mnemonic phrase.
If you click on the “By Keystore file” OR “By Mnemonic Phrase” a corresponding file (depending on your seed key choice) is generated which you are required to save off safely, that is for the Keystore file or write down/print, for the mnemonic phrase.
The Keystore file is required for login after it has been generated. Likewise, the mnemonic phrase has to be confirmed to go on with signing into your newly created wallet.
Also, you are required to set up a nine-word password, to login into your wallet from the registering device. However, do note that the mnemonic phrase and or your keystore file must be kept safe, as it is your only access to your wallet.
Also in creating your wallet using the mobile app, a mnemonic phrase is generated, which cannot be screenshoted or saved. It can only be hand-written or typed out on another window or device. After creating your wallet seed phrase/private key, and confirming it, you are required to sign up into your wallet’s dashboard with your password.
Beyond sending and receiving Ether and other ERC tokens, MEW allows for many features, which we will be looking at shortly.
Sending and Receiving Ether and ERC tokens
Once you log into your MEW dashboard, there is the MEW public key at the top of the dashboard for receiving funds into your wallet.
To send out funds, click on the menu icon, hover to send, and choose from the send or send offline button. Also, there is the option to adjust the transaction fee, which can be sometimes high on Ethereum.
This allows users to buy Ether using their debit card. However, there is a transaction limit of $50 – $10,000 for first transactions and a $20,000 limit for daily transactions. This buying service is powered by Simplex, a third party exchange for fiat to crypto transactions.
User-friendly enabling Dapps
As of the time of writing, there are 10 Dapps present on MEW. These are Dapps that translate your wallet address to a human-readable format, allows you to schedule a transaction, allows users to migrate your tokens, and several exotic features you won’t find in a crypto wallet.
This allows users to swap their Ether for several tokens as well as Bitcoin. As of the time of writing, there is 5 crypto swapping pair options on MEW. This feature is quite intuitive to use, all you need to do is: enter the swap volume and the receiving address and continue to swap.
Deploy and interact with ERC smart contract
MEW has a tool that allows developers to deploy their contracts on the Ethereum network, or interact with pre-existing contracts on the network. There is also the option for API interactions for ERC applications.
Out here, NFT holders can manage their nonfungible assets like they would other fungible tokens and use it on whatever platform it is used for.
Linking eternal wallets
MEW allows users of other software wallets to link their wallets to their MEW. For this review, we experimented with the Metamask Chrome extension. To link your Metamask wallet with your MEW, click on the Metamask icon. After this you will be redirected to your Metamask browser extension, assuming you are using the MEW web wallet, like us.
MEW Security best practices
Here are very important security best practices you want to stick with while using MEW:
- Avoid using your MEW on a web browser. While we used the web browser for this review, it is not something that is recommended. Whether it’s your private key, keystore file, or mnemonic phrase, all of this means of login into your wallet exposes your private key to third party theft.
The mobile version, associated with MEW, and Chrome browser extensions, for MEW CX or MetaMask, are the most secure options to access your wallet.
- Make sure to keep your private key, or the mnemonic key phrase, or the keystore file safe. The MEW developers and support does not have any backup of this file.
- Also, make sure not to keep it in a device prone to attack.
- Make sure to install any of these extensions: MEW CX, EAL, PhishFort, or Cryptonite, to your web browser to alarm you anytime you are visiting a malicious website.
MyEtherWallet provides flexibility that you will not find with any ERC wallet out there while giving you full control over your private key. However, using the mobile version is far more secure than using the web browser version, as it exposes you to a web phishing attack.