Launched in 2015, MEW, short for MyEtherWallet, has since gained immense popularity and has become one of the de facto tools within the Ethereum crypto sphere.
MyEtherWallet is a web-based (and non-hosted) wallet that promises to offer its users complete control over their funds. It can be used for anything like storing Ether and ERC-20 tokens, as well as for interacting with Ethereum smart contracts.
The first thing users should know about MEW is the fact that it doesn’t store anything on its official servers. MEW comes in the form of a web-based app/interface as well as a Google Chrome extension.
The web service provides users with a public address at which they can receive coins and tokens, as well as with the possibility of sending coins via a private key. One of the best features of MyEtherWallet is the improved security and enhanced control it offers its users over their private keys.
As mentioned before, MyEtherWallet does not store information on its servers, and it also doesn’t use typical login information like an account or a password. This might seem strange for the uninitiated, and that is why we have created a step by step guide on how to use MyEtherWallet.
Our guide includes information about how to create your own MyEtherWallet wallet, how to send and receive Ether and ERC-20 tokens on MEW wallet, how to swap assets, and how to make offline transactions.
How to create a new MEW wallet
In order to start using MyEtherWallet, you are required to first go to the service’s official website, and generate a new wallet. Before we go even further, it’s important to touch upon the importance of security and safety. You must be aware of possible phishing scams. Because there have been incidents with hackers creating fake websites that look like MyEtherWallet.com, you must make sure that your connection with the website is secure. It’s usually highlighted green or a locked locket on your browser’s address bar.
The next step involves you having to navigate to the New Wallet section and enter a password or a phrase in the required fields. Once you introduced the information in place, click the “Create New Wallet” button. The password will be used to encrypt your private keys, hence, make sure you remember both the password and the private key to be able to unlock the wallet. This password does not act a seed which is usually used to generate keys.
Once this is done, MEW will generate a password-protected private key under the name of a “Keystore file.” Make sure you take the time to read all the provided disclaimers. You are provided with the options of downloading the said file in either UTC or JSON format. In short, this file will be used to access your wallet from now on. Hence, it’s extremely important to keep it as safe as possible. To continue configuring your MEW wallet, click “I understand. Continue.”
Once this is done, you are presented with the Private Key of your new MEW. Since we are on the subject, it would be a good idea to print the private key on a piece of paper and keep it as safe as possible. Next, click the “Save Your Address” button. Subsequently, you can view your public wallet address. Your wallet can be accessed either by using the Keystore file, by using the provided private key, or by using other wallets such as Ledger Wallet, Trezor, Mist, and MetaMask, and via Digital Bitbox. On the bottom of the page, you should be able to see your public address, the account balance and transaction history, token balances, as well as QR codes.
Sending and receiving Ether or tokens
To do this, simply select the “Send Ether & Tokens” options from MEW’s web interface. Next, you will have to unlock your wallet, enter the destination wallet address and the amount that needs sending. You can choose ETH or any other non- ERC-20 assets from the dropdown list (the grey ETH button). To finalize the transaction, click the “Generate Transaction” button, and “Send Transaction,” followed by the “Yes, I am sure” confirmation.
Managing smart contracts
The fact that you can manage and interact with Ethereum smart contracts is definitely one of the best features of MEW. It’s also part of the reason why MEW is very useful for users who are interested in dApps and ICOs. This is a very complex issue, and it might require a bit of reading beforehand. For this task, we recommend you check out the official Getting Started section.
MEW also provides its users with the option of swapping ETH for other cryptocu3rrencies such as BTC and vice versa. To perform this task, select the “Swap” option, select the asset you want to swap and enter the amount that needs to be either sent or received. Next, enter the address and select “Start Swap.” Please note that you must send the funds within a 10-minute margin.
As mentioned at the start of this article, MEW is very focused on security and towards keeping your private keys safe. One other very interesting feature is MEW’s offline transaction option. To use this features, select the “Send Offline” option, enter the wallet address and click “Generate Information.” Make sure that your computer is really offline before you proceed further and unlock your wallet. After this step is done, click the “Generate Transaction” button.
To end with, MyEtherWallet is generally considered to be a very user-friendly service, aimed at both novices and more advanced users. However, it’s important to take the time to read this guide carefully and even consult the official Getting Started section. Good luck!