Owning cryptocurrencies is no child’s play. It entails you to follow best security practices of the online as well as the crypto world.
There are all other sorts of dangers when you HODL cryptocurrencies on exchanges. One being exchange hacks.
But we are not here to discuss exchange hacks. Instead, we will discuss an Ethereum wallet, i.e. MyEtherWallet. If you HODL Ethereum or ERC20 tokens, the decision of choosing the right ETH wallet will decide the fate of your holdings.
MyEtherWallet is a free Ethereum & ERC20 wallet client that makes it easier for you to manage, store, receive, & transfer Ether and ERC20 tokens. Recommended by veterans of the industry, and CoinSutra, this speaks volumes about itself.
In this review, I will show you what this wallet has to offer to you and how you can keep your ETH and ERC20 tokens safe.
What Is MyEtherWallet (MEW)?
MyEtherWallet is a household name for those using Ethereum or ERC20 tokens.
But if you aren’t aware of MEW yet, here is a simple introduction to it:
MyEtherWallet is a free, open-source, client-side, hot wallet that allows you to interact with the Ethereum blockchain. And during this, you remain in full control of your private keys, and thus your funds.
MEW has its web-based interface as well as a Chrome extension version but for this tutorial, we will keep the scope limited to the web version.
In its web interface, you can either manage Ether and other tokens directly or manage them via MEW on Ledger Nano S, Trezor, Digital Bitbox or MetaMask. In this tutorial, we will only see how to directly manage your tokens on the web version of MEW directly.
Exploring Features Of MEW
- Intuitive UI
I have been using MEW for the last 2 years and have found its UI very helpful and user-friendly. Plus, they have made the wallet in a way that one will be able to move from one option to another in a smooth manner. Also, the same interface supports Ethereum & ERC20 so users will not have much of a learning curve. Learn here: How To Use MyEtherWallet Effectively?
- Custom Gas & Fee
MEW wallet suggests appropriate gas limit and gas price while sending a transaction.But if you are in a hurry, or are participating in an ICO, you can customize options to get your transaction confirmed faster. Note: This functionality is available for both ETH and ERC20 tokens.
- Add ERC20 Tokens
Adding ERC20 tokens or custom tokens is one of the main USPs of MEW. But many people aren’t aware of this functionality. This makes managing 100s and 1000s of ERC20 tokens easy & effective within a single wallet. That is why we have made this DIY guide for you: The Step-By-Step Guide To Adding A Custom Token In MyEtherWallet [MEW]
- Built-in Exchange
There is more:
When you get to know that a wallet has an inbuilt exchange, how do you feel?
I feel good as I can achieve so many things, including the crypto exchange from a single interface.
And MEW wallet has the same functionality available for its users. Under the swap section of MEW, you will find this option powered by KyberNetwork & Bity to help you exchange your ETH and other tokens.
- Acess Different Wallets via MEW
Another interesting fact about MEW is:
It allows you to access different Ethereum wallets that one has set-up in other wallets. For example, Trezor or Ledger Nano S. Some of these wallets that you can access via MEW are, MetaMask / Mist Ledger Wallet, TREZOR, Digital Bitbox, Keystore / JSON File, Mnemonic Phrase, Private Key.
- Manage ERC20 & Ether Both on MEW
Also, controlling your tokens and Ether from a single interface is quite handy and fun. Here is the first look of the wallet when you try to send/receive your ERC20 tokens and Ether.
MEW wallet supports ETH and all the ERC20 tokens. So it supports 1000s of crypto tokens via a single interface. Here is a sneak peek into some of the tokens that MEW supports:
Also, while sending ERC20 out of MEW, make sure you select the right token from the drop-down menu in ‘Amount to send’ field.
For example, if you are sending PAY tokens, you need to select PAY in the drop-down. If you are sending OMG, select OMG in the drop-down, and so on.
Let’s get started with the following aims:
- How to make an MEW wallet?
- How to manage (send/receive) Ether on MEW wallet.
- How to manage ERC20 tokens on MEW
How to make a MEW wallet?
1. First, you will have to access the MEW wallet client. You can access it using this link – https://www.myetherwallet.com/#generate-wallet
Note: There are many phishing scams around MEW so be careful and bookmark the MEW wallet official link and never forget to check for MYETHERWALLET LCC [US] in the address bar with secure https connection.
2. Once you access the link, your screen, for the first time, will look like this:
3. Enter a password that you want to keep for the wallet and click on ‘Create New Wallet’. (Note: This password encrypts your private key. This does not act as a seed to generate your keys. You will need the password entered + your private key to unlock your wallet.
4. Once you click on ‘Create New Wallet’, you will find an instruction you to download ‘Keystore File’ with several important disclaimers.
5. After reading the instructions, click ‘Download Keystore File’. Once done with that, the ‘Continue’ option will be enabled.
6. The UTC file you see in the above image needs to be saved and secured. Do not change the name or content of the file in any case. Save the file to an offline hard drive or a pen drive which you don’t take online.
7. Click on ‘I understand. Continue‘ to see your private key.
8. Click on ‘Print Paper wallet’ to get a paper wallet like this: (Optional: Not recommended if you don’t know how to take care of paper wallets)
9. Click on ‘Save Your Address’ in #7 to return to this screen:
10. You have successfully created a new wallet on MEW to manage your Ether and other tokens.
How to manage (Send/Receive) Ether on MEW wallet?
1. Your new MEW account isn’t unlocked instantly. You need to unlock it first to use it.
2. There are several ways of unlocking it but we will stick to the option of unlocking your wallet via the stored ‘Keystore File’ that we downloaded in step #5 in the first section. You will also need your password that you entered in step #2.
3. Now, select the ‘Keystore File’ option as shown below. You can access this unlocking menu from the menu bar of MEW via option ‘Ether & Tokens’.
4. Once you select this option, you will be prompted to select ‘Keystore File’ as shown below:
5. Once you have selected the file, you will be prompted to enter the password that you created in step #1.
6. Now, enter your password and unlock your wallet to see this screen.
7. As you can see in the image above, the MEW wallet is open and you can see your account address to receive ETH or tokens on it. Use the ‘To Address’ to put ETH address of the recipient and ‘Amount To Send’ field. This way you can access your MEW and send/receive ETH and other tokens.
How to manage ERC20 tokens on MEW?
Managing ERC20 tokens on MEW wallet is as easy as ETH itself.
1. Once you have unlocked MEW, click on ‘Show All Tokens’ option as shown in this image.
2. Once you click on ‘Show All Tokens’, you will see a list of all the MEW supported tokens.
3. Now, click on any token to load and enable it in MEW. It will then reflect the balance of those tokens in MEW.
4. If your token is not yet supported in MEW, you can add it yourself by keying in the necessary details as shown below:
5. This way you will be able to manage your ERC20 tokens easily in MEW.
Few Important Things To Note
- You ETH address and token address for ERC20 tokens will be the same unless you make different accounts. It is recommended that you make only one account and manage everything using that.
- Also, while sending ERC20 out of MEW, make sure you select the right token from the drop-down menu in ‘Amount to send’ field.
- For example, if you are sending PAY tokens, you need to select PAY in the drop-down. If you are sending OMG, select OMG in the drop-down, and so on.
- Also, select the right Gas Price and Gas Limit while sending ETH or tokens out of the MEW failing which your transactions will not be completed. Use this guide to know more about the concept of Gas limit and Gas price.
MEW allows you to connect with smart contracts in a private manner. It doesn’t collect any login information nor does it need any registration to get started.
It is a kind of self-hosted web wallet and hence can be used with any browser and operating system. Also, if you need Chrome extensions then that is also available for MEW.
|Supported Platforms||Web Wallet, Chrome Extension|
|Privacy||No registration or personal information needed|
|Smart Contracts Support||Yes|
Final Thoughts On MEW
MyEtherWallet is a popular wallet in the Ethereum world. It is so because of the reasons that I have shared in the article.
Apart from that, it had its fair share of criticisms. Hacked wallets and phishing attacks have affected MEW, but they have dealt with it well by educating users and issuing these guidelines (Source-MEW):
- Install EAL, MetaMask or Cryptonite by Metacert. Or, the MyEtherWallet Chrome Extension to block malicious websites.
- Always check the URL: https://www.myetherwallet.com.
- Always make sure the URL bar has MYETHERWALLET INC in green.
- Do not trust messages or links sent to you via email, Slack, Reddit, Twitter, etc.
- Always navigate directly to a site before you enter information. Do not enter information after clicking a link from a message or email.
- Install an AdBlocker and do not click ads on your search engine (e.g. Google).
Phishers usually send you a message with a link to a website that looks just like MyEtherWallet, EtherDelta, Paypal, or your bank but is not the real website. They steal your information and then steal your money. To combat that, one should follow the aforementioned tips.
At a very fundamental level, MEW makes management of ERC20 and ETH easy. But if you want to use MEW for exchanging crypto, deploying smart contracts or participating in ICOs, you can very well do so.
Lastly, there is one thing that I would want MEW to implement – keeping the wallet accessible when one moves from one option to another. (Currently, when one moves from one option to another in the start bar, it automatically logs you out).
Now, you let me know your thoughts on MEW? Have you used it before? How has your experience been What more features would you like to see in MEW? Waiting for your comments below:)
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