About this guide: Our Myetherwallet guide aims to provide straightforward information on how to set up and use the most popular Ethereum and ERC20 token wallet. In the Cryptocurrency market over 80% of tokens are ERC20 tokens. This makes a wallet like Myetherwallet invaluable to nearly any cryptocurrency investor. We always urge strong caution before using any cryptocurrency wallets and encourage you to do your research.
- 1 What is Myetherwallet?
- 2 Why Do You Need Myetherwallet?
- 3 Ready To Take Control Of Your Crypto? Not So Fast, There Are A Few Important Terms You Need To Know…
- 4 How To Setup And Use Myetherwallet?
- 5 How To Work Out What Tokens Are Compatible With MEW?
- 6 How To Use A Ledger Nano S With Myetherwallet?
- 7 How To Use Trezor With Myetherwallet?
- 8 Resources
- 9 Useful Links
What is Myetherwallet?
MEW is a website where you can generate and access your own Ethereum and ERC20 wallet. It is the most widely used ethereum wallet. ERC20 tokens are simply tokens for cryptocurrency projects built on the Ethereum network. Currently, over 500 crypto projects are built on Ethereum and are ERC20 tokens.
Don’t think of MEW as a bank: they do not have access to your tokens or wallet details. Think of Myetherwallet as an interface where you can interact with your personal wallet. This does mean that you and you alone are responsible for keeping your crypto safe and controlling your wallet. MEW will not be able to help you if anything goes wrong.
Why Do You Need Myetherwallet?
You could keep your tokens in an exchange however, this comes with the risk of the exchange being hacked. Exchanges are essentially unregulated banks, keeping your tokens for you as a third party. It’s a matter of trust.
Crypto can be seen a lot like owning gold, you only “own it” if you are in possession of the asset. In our opinion it is best if we control our own crypto and don’t need to depend on trusting exchanges. That’s where Myetherwallet comes in. In addition, many ICO’s use ERC20 tokens and you can only participate if you have your own ERC20 wallet.
Ready To Take Control Of Your Crypto? Not So Fast, There Are A Few Important Terms You Need To Know…
Private Key: Think of this as a complex password that proves you own the tokens and are authorised to access your wallet. It’s exceptionally important you never share this with anyone. If anyone finds out your private key they can access your wallet and do whatever they choose. A private key is essentially the same as the pin to your bank account; you should treat it the same way.
You get one private key for your wallet. Do not lose it. Otherwise you will likely lose access to all the crypto in your wallet.
Public Key: A public key is essentially the same as your bank account number. It is required for another person to send funds to your wallet. If you have a friend that wants to send you one ethereum, you would give them your public key to execute the transaction.
Keystore File: This is an encrypted file that stores your private key. You password protect this file when creating a wallet on Myetherwallet. Make sure you keep it safe and never share it with anyone.
How To Setup And Use Myetherwallet?
1) Go to Myetherwallet. First make sure that you can see a padlock next to the URL bar and “MYETHERWALLET LLC [US]”, this means you are on the real site. Make sure you bookmark the site, as there are a lot of Myetherwallet phishing sites trying to get access to your funds.
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2) Enter a strong password. This password will protect your Keystore file, which stores your private key. Make a note of this password. We recommend you write this down on paper to be as secure as possible. Do not store this password on your computer for security reasons.
3) Click “Create New Wallet”. You will then be prompted to download your Keystore file. Download it and keep it safe. For maximum security we personally move the Keystore file to a flash drive and delete all traces of it on our computer.
Once done just click the button “I understand. Continue”.
4) You will then see your private key. We recommend you DO NOT save this on your computer.
Instead print out a copy or two of the paper wallet. Laminate it, keep it safe. “Your Address” is your personal public key and “Your Private Key” is your private key.
5) You will then be asked how you would like to access your wallet. We recommend a hardware wallet like Trezor or Ledger for maximum security. Why are hardware wallets more secure? Because, you will never expose your private key, regardless of any viruses on your computer. The private key is stored securely on your hardware wallet. An added benefit is that accessing your wallet is significantly easier and faster.
We will show you how to integrate Trezor and Ledger with Myetherwallet later in this guide. For now, we will assume you wish to use the completely free Keystore / JSON File method. Select this option.
Upload your Keystore folder by hitting “Select Wallet File”, enter your password and click “Unlock”.
6) You will then see your public address displayed twice and your ethereum balance. If you want to see your other ERC 20 tokens you must click “Show All Tokens” to view these within MEW.
💡 Top Tip: To ensure maximum security, it is best to access your Myetherwallet as infrequently as possible. If you save your public address on your computer. You can view your wallet balance anytime without accessing your wallet by:
- Our public address: 0x5Ba3A072729428bbEdB2B4935D9FF147dD2bD36a
- To view our token balance through Ethplorer. We simply add our public address on the end of the Ethplorer extension.
- In this example, the URL to view your token balance would look like this: https://ethplorer.io/address/0x5Ba3A072729428bbEdB2B4935D9FF147dD2bD36a
7) To send Ethereum or ERC20 tokens just hit the “Send Ether & Tokens” tab on Myetherwallet. Upload your keystore file and enter your password as outlined in step 5 of this guide.
- To Address: Is the public key for the person or exchange you wish to send ethereum or tokens too.
- Amount to Send: You can select the token type in the dropdown, if you wish to send a specific ERC20 token.
- Gas Limit: Gas is the fee paid to Ethereum network miners to process your transaction. Unless you are participating in an ICO we recommend you keep the gas limit at 21,000. Don’t worry about the big gas number. At the time of writing 21,000 gas is the equivalent of a $0.055 fiat transaction fee.
💡 Top Tip: You can double check the USD cost of a ethereum transaction on Ethgasstation.
How To Work Out What Tokens Are Compatible With MEW?
We will show you the simplest way of seeing if a token is a ERC20 token and compatible with Myetherwallet.
- Go to Coinmarketcap.
- Select “Tokens” and “Full List”.
- You can then use the find feature in your browser to locate the token you are interested in. If under platform it says Ethereum, then your token is compatible with MEW.
How To Use A Ledger Nano S With Myetherwallet?
If you are thinking about getting a Ledger or are about to set it up, please check out our dedicated Ledger guide. If you already have you Ledger working then please read on…
To get your Ledger working with MEW you must enable browser support on your device. For the time you enable browser support, you will not be able to access the Ledger Ethereum app. To switch between using the Ledger Ethereum app and MEW, just turn browser support on and off. Turning off browser support will allow you to use the Ledger Ethereum app again.
- Unlock your Ledger.
- Select Ethereum.
- Press both buttons when you see the screen “Use wallet to view accounts”.
- Select settings.
- Hit browser support
- Select yes.
When logging into Myetherwallet simply select the Ledger wallet option. The interface will be exactly the same as if you were using a Keystore file.
You will be given a selection of wallets to choose from. You can use all of them, create new ones or just use one. It’s up to you.
Not Got A Ledger Nano S Yet? Want To Store Your ERC20 Tokens In One Of The Safest Ways Possible?
How To Use Trezor With Myetherwallet?
Trezor have made it very simple for users. All you do is select Trezor as the method to access your Myetherwallet account. You will be asked to Export public key for Ether account #1, select export. You can use all of them, create new ones or just use one. It’s up to you.
The rest of the Myetherwallet interface and how it works, will be exactly the same as outlined earlier in this guide.
Not Got A Trezor Yet? Want To Store Your ERC20 Tokens In One Of The Safest Ways Possible?
🔒 Keeping Your MEW Wallet As Safe As Possible
Hardware wallets ensure your MEW private key is not exposed when logging in to the MEW wallet. The fact that your private key is stored on the device, means that managing your MEW wallet is easier and faster too. If you want to keep your Ethereum and ERC20 tokens as safe as possible, using MEW with a hardware wallet is the way to go.