As cryptocurrency continues to gain popularity, crypto wallets have become essential. Traders usually store crypto coins at an exchange platform. It is prominent to know that these coins are not safe on these exchange platforms as users don’t own the coins stored in the exchange. These exchanges are third-party services trusted to keep the coins safe. However, there are high chances that these exchanges can be shut down due to some technical issues or can get hacked. It can result in the loss of all the coins stored on the exchange platform.
As there are no fixed regulatory guidelines on cryptocurrency and exchanges, it is always risky to store the coins in an exchange platform because they do not allow the user to have complete control over the coins.
The complete control and ownership of the coins mean the user has total control over their private keys. A user can have control and ownership of the coins if they are in a crypto wallet. Today several ICOs are available as ERC-20 tokens, and most prominently, Ethereum is the base coin to take part in any ICO.
Hence to take part in any ICO, the user must have a wallet that supports Ethereum. The most common and widely known wallet to store Ethereum is MyEtherWallet.
Compatibility with coins
One can store all the coins related to Ethereum, including Ethereum (ERC -20) tokens and Ethereum classic in the MyEtherWallet. The ERC tokens are essential. Ethereum blockchain is based on smart contracts and made with advanced and modern technology. Due to this, several innovations depend on Ethereum’s blockchain technology, essential to develop different inventions.
It simply means that several ERC-20 tokens are developed and are floating around in the crypto world. Hence MyEtherWallet is very advantageous as it can store these several ERC-20 tokens.
A user requires the wallet 24×7 if one is very active in trading and investing coins in the crypto market. One can access the MyEtherWallet primarily through the internet. Hence if the user has a mobile device with an active internet connection, he can access MyEtherWallet from wherever and whenever they want.
MyEtherWallet is dependent on open-source technology. Therefore, it is accessible across all operating systems on mobile and desktop. Some of the famous operating systems are Windows, Mac, Linux, and Ubuntu.
MyEtherWallet acts as an interface to make transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. Hence Ethernet doesn’t charge any fees to its users. It is open-source and free to its customers.
To visit MyEtherWallet, it is essential to access the site only through the ‘HTTPS://’ protocol. There have been multiple instances where users tried to access the wallet through the ‘HTTP://’ protocol, which led to serious phishing attacks compromising their sensitive information, ultimately losing all the assets in the wallet.
MyEtherWallet also provides a distinct private key to the users to authenticate all the transactions through the wallet to ensure high security. It is also compatible with cold storage to make offline transactions, which is a very secure way to make transactions for Ethereum users.
There are several FAQS on the website of MyEtherwallet that help users with their queries regarding MyEtherwallet. They frequently revise their knowledge base and continue adding several FAQs with time.
Though the wallet has several benefits, there are certain disadvantages associated with the wallet. Though it isn’t much of a concern, one must know that MyEtherWallet is not an actual crypto wallet but acts as an interface for conducting the transactions.
Not feasible with all the coins
As mentioned earlier, MyEtherWallet is only feasible with the coins associated with Ethereum that include Ethereum Classic and Ethereum (ERC-20) tokens. One cannot use the wallet to store any other crypto coin. Even the most famous crypto coin, bitcoin, cannot be stored in it.
It does not seem to be an issue with the users as they already know what they are in for. Most users opt for this wallet as they are highly trading in Ethereum.
There are reported instances where users have complained about the thefts and hacks of their information while using the MyEtherWallet. The safety issues are also a result of the fact that it is not an actual wallet.
As it is not an actual wallet, it does not provide the same level of safety and security to the coins as provided by an actual wallet.
Though there are some security issues, they are avoidable if the user is careful about the transactions done through the wallet.
- It is a free wallet
- It is dependent on open-source technology
- It is easy to create and simple to understand
- It avoids storing any confidential and sensitive information on the servers of MyEtherWallet
- It is feasible with cold storage for offline transactions.
- It is not an actual cryptocurrency wallet
- There have been few reports of phishing attacks.
Creating a MyEtherWallet
Before registering for a new MyEtherWallet, there are a few basic terms that need to be understood.
- Public Keys- It is a public address that receives the crypto funds. It is similar to the bank account number.
- Private Key- It is a digital signature for authorizing the transaction done through the wallet. It is a confidential key and must be secure. It is like the ATM pin of the bank account.
- Keystore file- The private keys are encrypted into the Keystore file. Encryption converts the confidential information into codes to avoid unauthorized and unapproved access to the wallet.
Following steps need to be followed to set up a new wallet-
Step #1: Visit the MyEtherWallet
Please remember to bookmark the MyEtherWallet site. It is essential as many instances of phishing attacks have been reported in the past. There are many fake and mirror websites available that can phish sensitive information and can cause severe losses. Please check the website authenticity by looking for MYETHERWALLET LLC [US] Certificate, which is only visible on the official website.
Step #2: Generating A Wallet
The website directly shows a blank space for the password on its default page. Enter the password in this space to generate a new wallet. It is always beneficial to create a random and long password to enhance the security of the wallet. If a user is afraid of forgetting the password, they can note it down and keep it in a safe and secure place. Click on “Create New Wallet” to go further.
Step #3: Save the Keystore File
After this, save the Keystore file by downloading it. Store it in a safe and secure place where no one else can access it. This file is essential in restoring or recovering the wallet if the user forgets or loses the password. To enhance the wallet’s security, the user can use it with the password to enter the MyEtherWallet. If the Keystore file is leaked, it can be used to access the wallet, and anyone can steal all the assets in the wallet. Once the Keystore file is downloaded and stored safely, click on “I Understand, Continue” to proceed further.
Step #4: Store the Private Key
Private Keys are a prominent part of the wallet. They are used to authenticate the transactions made through the wallet. They act similar to a PIN of a bank account. Hence they need to be stored in a safe and secure place. One can keep the private key and the Keystore file in an encrypted folder, further enhancing the wallet’s security. It is essential to note that the private keys are not password protected. The private key, once lost, cannot be recovered by any means.
Step #5: Unlock the Wallet
The public keys are the address for receiving the ERC-20 or ETH coins in the wallet. It works just like the account number works for a bank account. Multiple options are available to choose the mode of access to the wallet. If the user is a beginner and has just started trading the coins, it is always essential to use the Keystore file (JSON/UTC) option to access the account. Once this option is selected, the user needs to enter the Keystore File with the password to access the wallet. The Keystore is the most secure way to access the wallet as it has private keys in an encrypted form.
Step #6: Create a Backup
To be on the safer side, create a backup of the public key, private key, and the Keystore file. They must be kept in a secure and safe place. Once the wallet is unlocked, it is generated successfully. Now one can start storing the ERC-20 and ETH coins in it and can use them for the transactions. Now the user can also take part in an ICO. The private key and public key can also be kept as QR codes.
Is MyEtherWallet feasible with bitcoin and altcoins?
The MyEtherWallet is made especially for Ethereum coins and its subsidiaries like Testnet Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and other Ethereum (ERC-20) tokens. Apart from this, the wallet does not allow storage or transaction for other coins. If a user wants to convert the other crypto coins into Ethereum, they can do it with the help of Shapeshift.io or Bity.com.
Where can the Ethereum and other ERC-20 tokens be traded using the wallet?
Several reputable and well-known crypto exchanges are available where Ethereum and other ERC-20 tokens can be traded using the MyEtherWallet. They include Bittrex exchange, Bitfinex, Kraken, Changelly, Poloniex, and Coinbase exchange.
What happens if the MyEtherWallet is down?
The most important aspect of the MyEtherWallet is that it is not a web-based or online wallet. Users do not have any login id or usernames, and it is essential to know that no information remains on the GitHub servers. It just acts as a middleman for the users to get in touch with the Ethereum blockchain. In case MyEtherWallet is temporarily out of service, the users are advised to search for alternative ways to reach the Ethereum Blockchain. It is essential to know that the coins are never stored in the MyEtherWallet, but kept in the wallet created through the MyEtherWallet website.
Can Two Factor Authentication be enabled for a MyEtherWallet?
The Two Factor Authentication feature adds an extra layer of protection to the login id and the password available for server-based applications. On the other hand, the MyEtherWallet is a kind of client-based application. It does not store the keys of the users on its servers and neither allow users to access the keys stored on the servers. The users have complete control over their keys to authenticate and initiate the transactions done through the Ethereum Blockchain.
Is MyEtherWallet a scam?
MyEtherWallet provides an interface for active interaction with the Ethereum Blockchain. MyEtherWallet can also be connected with other famous wallets. It also counts hardware wallets like Ledger, Trezor, and the officially approved Ethereum Wallet.
It is perfectly safe for beginners and also for experienced crypto traders. It provides a platform for the users, where they have total control and rights on their wallets and make safe and secure transactions even in an offline mode. It is a safe way of making transactions as they are made offline and do not have the risk of hackers and spammers, compared to web transactions where sensitive information can be compromised and can result in a loss of crypto assets.
Why must one use MyEtherWallet?
MyEtherWallet conducts its operations offline and efficiently reduces any security threats with the help of a hardware wallet. The operations of MyEtherWallet are carried through GitHub servers. Any user can use the MyEtherwallet from the desktop or mobile device, in case they are not connected to the internet and cannot have access to the servers. It is a free wallet, and the company does not charge a penny for it.
What to do if the funds get stolen?
Hacking and phishing are getting common in the crypto world. Unfortunately, the lost funds are impossible to recover, however, it is essential to note that most attacks are preventable if a user is a little careful while operating the wallet and making a transaction. A minor mistake can cause a loss of thousands of dollars.
Following the below-mentioned steps can prevent a future attack on the wallet-
Step 1: Identify the Method
Checking the source and method of the attack is an essential thing in preventing future attacks. Phishers usually use the same technique to attack. Hence learning the source and way of attack can prove very helpful in preventing future attacks.
Tracing the source and attack methodology is possible by the following tricks-
- Examine the browser history thoroughly. Check if any fake MyEtherWallet websites were visited? Have a good look at the URLs.
- Check the computer system for viruses or malware.
- Check if there are any remote-access software available in the computer system. It can have access to the computer screen, and sensitive information can be compromised.
Step 2: Create a New Wallet
If the previous wallet is hacked, it is always advisable to create a new wallet. Be careful while creating a new one. Use a new password as the previous one could have been compromised.
Step 3: Get Educated
It is prominent to know about cryptocurrency, wallets, and all the relevant terms before getting into it. Get educated on all the aspects of crypto wallets. Get to know its functioning, risks associated with it, and the preventive measure to avoid such risks.
MyEtherWallet has a broader knowledge base that updates itself regularly. It provides a wide range of information on wallets, crypto coins, and phishing and hacking attacks.
Follow the latest news regarding MyEtherWallet. It will help in staying updated with the new development in the wallet.
Google before doing any transaction to any company. Make sure the company is legit and is not a fake one.
Step 4: Spread the word
Let the world know about phishing attacks and scams. Take photos of the scams and write about the attacks. One can also inform Ethereum about it, as they can be more careful and create better awareness regarding such phishing attacks.
MyEtherWallet is very easy to create and follows an easy procedure to conduct the transactions. It is the best option for beginners who have just started trading in Ethereum and other ERC-20 coins. It provides a very secure and safe way of trading. It also provides an offline medium to authenticate the transactions.
It is free of cost and requires only a minute to create a new MyEtherWallet. Despite some security concerns of the past, they can be avoided by carefully following all the steps for setting up the wallet. One must also be cautious and careful while making a transaction using the wallet.