Progress is never easy, and neither is change for most humans. It's always going to be much easier to sit back and keep doing things the same old way you always have, but change is inevitable in life. Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology have already started to significantly change our lives, even if we all still have that friend that is yelling “bubble!” or “scam”, it is time to embrace change instead of fighting against it.
Crypto ain't easy folks, it will get there, but currently you do need a good amount of knowledge to make it all “work”. The fine folks over at MyCrypto.com understand this and have launched the next iteration of their services (they split from MEW or MyEtherWallet early 2018), where they look towards future adoption and next-level scaling for mass-adoption. Follow along with The ‘Stache as I do a quick walkthough of the new MyCrypto platform and my thoughts on the new direction.
How Did We End Up With MyCrypto & MEW?
I ran into the MyCrypto team earlier this year when I went to the ABOVE BLOCKCHAIN conference in Santa Monica. I asked them what they were all about and I was a bit surprised to hear them say that the MyEtherWallet co-founders had split and while co-founder Kosala Hemachandra retained the MEW stuff, co-founder Taylor Monahan (she was also on a panel at the event) split off to create MyCrypto.com. This was not viewed as a hostile act as far as I can tell, but whenever partners split like this there is always a major underlying cause.
This split did not affect customers of MEW and it seems that while MyCrypto is almost the same offering, the team has modified the MEW source code to improve upon scaling and address some of the support and long term issues of the project according to Taylor's Medium post about it. With the launch of MyCrypto's new offering, you still get that same great MEW functionality with a UI and features that have not changed all too much from a user standpoint.
What Is MyCrypto?
The MyCrypto team understand that crypto just needs to “work” for most users and their platform gives you the freedom of accessing the blockchain directly & creating wallets using their suite of tools where you always hold your own private keys (not sure what a private key is? read my article here). Their set of tools just make it a little easier to do things when it comes to handling Ethereum wallets and managing ERC-20 tokens.
MyCrypto Basic Walkthrough
How MyCrypto allows you to create new wallets and interact with the blockchain is pretty much the same as it was with MEW, but a small UI improvement. If it is your first time accessing the site you will be presented with a 10-step mini-lecture on the safety and security of holding your private keys, using the site, and the fact that they are not a bank. I LoL'd at the “Wait, WTF is a Blockchain” title!
MEW has a similar intro tutorial and while I FULLY appreciate that they do this, but I think it is borderline “scary” to a new person as the warnings are plentiful and might almost make a user reconsider using the site if they have no real knowledge of what is going on in the cryptosphere. I would prefer a more toned down set of warnings as the way they have it now instills FUD from the start of using their platform.
Connecting A Wallet
Once you get past the intro tutorial, the interface is pretty straight forward and much less confusing for a beginner than MyEtherWallet is. They present the best options to connect to your wallet and also options to create a new wallet. I connected my MetaMask and it worked easily and I l like the interface. You can see a shot of my account here below:
Nothing too sensitive here so I don't mind showing it off. You can see options for Sending, Request Payment, Walet info, and Recent Transactions. On the lift is my public ETH address with my measily ETH balance of .0457! It also includes a Token scanner which is nice.
Creating A Wallet
While the warn you yet again and again about the pitfalls of creating a wallet that is not their “preferred” way, I decided to give the interface for the mnemonic wallet creation. This just means that your wallet will be secured by a passphrase that is made up of 12 randomly generated words. You can see how it looks below as I created this wallet for testing:
I found the process quite easy, but I have also been using crypto for the past 3+ years so I am used to it. I still think that beginners will grasp this fairly easy too.
Besides the creation and viewing of your wallet data they have a few other options for checking things like Transaction Status, Contracts, Swapping your crypto using their preferred service Shapeshift (same tool built into Exodus wallet).
I think that MyCrypto expands only slightly on the MyEtherWallet offering as it stands right now. Taylor's story of how MEW blew up and they went from pet side project to full fledged development team is a hard damn thing to deal with for any entrepreneur. The fact that they recognize this, and solidified their team and direction speaks volumes to their credibility as a project and their dedication to getting it right. I look forward to what they continue to build upon their platform and I think that MyCrypto is still a better option at this point than continuing to use MEW if you are already used to it.
More great crypto content coming soon, but for now…