Today, MyEtherWallet (MEW) launches a full website redesign removing the cautionary pop-up window it's had since 2015. and adding new features aimed at safety and convenience. Since creating MEW, founder and CEO Kosala Hemachandra has focused on educating users about wallet safety. Hemachandra says, “When MEW first launched in 2015, we were a niche interface with a user base that was almost entirely made up of technically-proficient people. Now, we want to take cryptocurrency adoption to the next stage by making tools designed to help newcomers transition easily into the blockchain world.”
Screenshots of the MEW website before (left) and after (right). Myetherwallet.com
Version 5 of MEW’s web-based Ethereum wallet automatically displays wallet balances, without users having to check their funds through a third-party extension. It also connects users to a convenient swap page where they can compare prices at Changelly , Bity and Kyber Network . Loi Luu, CEO of Kyber Network says, “The launch of MEW's brand new interface will improve the user experience while making the token swap process even more seamless for millions of people around the world.”
Phishing attempts have been a longstanding issue for anything related to cryptocurrency. MEW is no exception. Over the years, thousands of scammers sites have copied the MEW website to trick users in order to steal their funds. "As an open-source project, MEW is a prime target for look-alike phishing sites, with over 3,000 monitored at any given time.”, says Hemachandra. Even checking for valid SSL certification isn't always enough. Longtime MEW users have probably had to deal with a fair amount of scam attempts because of the site’s potential reward for scammers. Hemachandra explains,
“ We work diligently to reduce risks using a two-pronged approach: First, whenever we encounter a potential scam, our security partners, Segasec and Phishfort work to take down phishing sites before they reach a critical mass. We also use Cloudflare Domain Name Service to bring the best web security available to our users. Second, we actively educate users with best practices to safeguard MEW wallets from phishers and scammers. That is why our new interface for V5 is designed to incentivize the use of a hardware wallet, like our MEWconnect App or MetaMask, rather than riskier methods."
MEW also only supports ether and ERC20 tokens, making it incompatible for anyone wishing to store bitcoin, XRP, and other cryptocurrencies outside the Ethereum blockchain. At the same time, Hemachandra says,
“MEW has a very broad role in the Ethereum ecosystem. MEW is an open source platform that does more than just allow people to make cryptocurrency transactions. We enable users to interact with Dapps, deploy smart contracts, send and receive ERC20 tokens and offer many more functions.”
While MEW offers features outside storing cryptocurrencies, many people use hardware wallets like Trezor and Ledger Nano because they support a greater variety of coins and offer a higher level of security. MEW has affiliate partnerships with both Ledger and Trezor, among others. Hemachandra says, “They also communicate with us before releasing new versions or new Hardware wallets to make sure MEW is compatible with them.”
In addition to a new web interface, the latest wallet version of MEW adds an opt-in security feature called SendSafe. Developed by Coral Protocol , SendSafe uses smart contracts to reroute outgoing funds while Coral Protocol verifies the trustworthiness of the destination address.
David Kuchar, CEO of Coral Protocol, the team who developed SendSafe says, “Our goal is to grow crypto adoption by reducing fear and fraud. SafeSend prevents users from accidentally sending money to a fraudster while fixing that gut-wrenching fear felt whenever the send button is clicked.” With a new site and more features, MEW wants to bring a more intuitive experience to holding cryptocurrencies.
--Correction: Checking for SSL certification is a good place to start but many phishing sites use fake SSL certification....