HOW TO USE MYETHERWALLET (MEW)
By Teddy Cleps
Cryptocurrencies allow us to have financial freedom and to eventually not depend on banks. However this comes with the drawback that we need to successfully manage our own funds – as there is no bank to help us or give us a refund in a scenario of something going wrong.
It may sounds overwhelming but managing your own funds is a lot easier than you think, as it simply means being the sole owner of your private keys.
Today there are tools that make this process very user-friendly and this guide will teach you how to use one of the most popular tools, MyEtherWallet (MEW): a free tool that allows you to easily and safely create/retrieve wallets and send/receive funds.
Let’s Create a Wallet!
Upon landing on MEW’s website you will have the option of creating or accessing a wallet, in case case you want to “create a new wallet” and then asked to pick between 3 different ways of doing so:
This system is new but highly recommended by the community, it makes the process of accessing your wallet quick and safe.
Quick because in order to access your account you simply need to scan a QR code with your phone, safe because nobody can access your account unless they are using your device – meaning that a hacker on the other side of the world will not be able to hack your account.
Download the app from either Google Play or the App Store.
(make sure that you are downloading the original version, double check who uploaded the application and the comments for confirmation – https://mewconnect.myetherwallet.com/#/ ).
Open the MEWconnect application, select the option of creating a new wallet and pick a password! And you will then be directed to your account.
At this point the safest thing to do is to press on “back up” as you won’t be in control of your private keys until you get your recovery phrase during the backup process.
This page is not your actual wallet, but it will be used to quickly and safely login on MEW’s website.
At this point we are nearly done, all you have to do is go to MEW’s website and select the option of accessing your wallet (instead of creating a new one) and then click MEWconnect.
At this point grab your device, open the application, insert your password and click “Scan to Connect” and use that to read the scanner on MEW’s website (photo below) – Let the page load, and you are now inside your wallet.
Here you are simply downloading a .UTC file upon the creation of the wallet and you are asked to upload it whenever you want to login. It will act as your private key, what makes the process of accessing your account quick but relatively unsafe compared to the other methods.
Quick because in order to access your account, you simply have to upload a file and you are logged in – relatively unsafe because hackers could hack your computer/cloud storage/mail (etc) and get hold of your file and thus access to your account.
If you decide to use this method, it is vital that you look after this file like a baby – never share it, never lose it and ideally make a backup version of it (save it on a USB stick)
Select the option of creating a wallet through the Keystore File, pick a password and download the .UTC file
Now that you have downloaded the .UTC file you can access your wallet. On the main home page of MEW’s website select the option of accessing your wallet (instead of creating a new one), click software and then Keystore File.
You will now be asked to upload the file and to finally insert your password. Let the page load, and you are now inside your wallet.
This method of storing your private keys is extremely safe, but risky and time consuming.
The reason I consider this method one of the safest is due to the fact that your private key is 100% stored offline,literarily on a piece of paper. Risky because you can lose that piece of paper and never have access to your account again, and time consuming because you will have to manually type your phrase.
**As long as someone has your mnemonic phrase, they essential have your private key – vital that you protect it!
Select the option of creating a wallet through Mnemonic Phrase, pick a password and grab a pen and piece of paper as you will have to write down your random phrases.
Depending on the level of safety you can either pick a 12 or 24 words mnemonic phrase, and write it down on a piece of paper ( or two ).
This process helps you verify that you have written down your phrases correctly, simply fill in the gaps where the words are missing.
Upon successfully entering your mnemonic phrase, unlike the previous methods you will have a broad list of wallets that you can access.
All of those addresses belong to you and can all be used at the same time if wished. Don’t forget that they all have a different public key and make sure that you are sending funds to the correct one!
How to use the Wallet
All of the steps above simply guided you through the process of safely creating an account on MyEtherWallet – regardless of the method that you picked the dashboard will always be the same.
The dashboard is very intuitive and easy to use, you have all of necessary information to safely transact in one page, let’s get started:
This is the public key of your wallet, if anyone has to send you funds simply copy/paste it and give it to the sender – that is the ONLY information they would ever need from you.
If its the first time you are using the wallet, I highly recommend sending a very small amount to test whether it works or not – better lose a couple cents than your entire stack!
Additionally, every ERC20 coin has the same address within your wallet, meaning that your Ethereum public key will be the same for any other altcoin.
This tab will show you the total balance within the wallet, however if you click on the 3 dots you will see your total holding divided by individual ERC20 altcoins.
This section will allow you to send your funds to any other ERC20 wallet.
If you need to send funds you want to click this tab in order to pick what altcoin among your balance you wish to send.
The amount that you wish to send to someone.
This is where you want to insert the public key of the address that will be receiving your funds, always double and triple check that the information was inserted correctly – failure to do so will result with funds lost forever.
This is a list of all of the ERC20 altcoins in existence and your balance within them – as long as a coin appears on that list, it can be stored in your wallet.
MyEtherWallet offers plenty of blockchain related features in addition to simply storing your ERC20 token. If you are new to cryptocurrencies I recommend you sticking to the basics before potentially compromising the safety of your funds.
If you have questions or topic requests please don’t hesitate to contact us at: [email protected]
Article written by @TeddyCleps
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