Popular Ethereum wallet service MyEtherWallet (MEW) recently became the center of the cryptocurrency community’s latest controversy, as co-founder Taylor Monahan recently announced a new, rival venture, dubbed MyCrypto.com. The new venture, for now, boasts a user interface nearly identical to that of MEW.
Per the new company, an entirely new website will soon be launched, with desktop and mobile apps set to follow “in the coming months.”
MyEtherWallet, which was launched by both Mohana and Kosala “kvhnuk” Hemachandra in 2015, will continue to exist. Hemachandra is still leading MEW as he controls service’s GithHub repository, domain, and AWS instances. Through a blog post, Monahan noted that MEW will continue to be online “until it, for whatever reason, is not online,” at which point she will use her reach to do what she can to warn the community that something’s up.
A New Venture
Explaining the launch of MyCrypto, Monahan revealed that MyEtherWallet was initially a side project for both co-founders, one that became overwhelming due to the new user intake the cryptocurrency ecosystem endured. She revealed that her sleep, routine, and mental health became affected by the prices of Ethereumand other cryptocurrencies, which amplified the volume going through MEW.
The feedback the project got from users surged from around 20 requests per day to thousands. Her blog post further reveals that MEW GitHub contributions massively increased for both of its co-founders between 2015 and 2017. Per Monahan’s words, the stakes increased along with the value of Ethereum:
“The value of Ethereum increased exponentially and so did the stakes. Every potential bug or help query became “the most urgent thing ever.” Every monumental task finished meant another monumental task started.”
The reason behind the MyCrypto/MEW split are still unclear, but available information suggests the founders had different visions for the service’s future. Monahan’s vision seemingly involved assembling a team over the past 9 months to launch My Crypto.
Her blog post reads:
“MyEtherWallet LLC was sufficient for the early stages of growth. MyCrypto is designed with next-level scaling in mind from the beginning.”
Hemachandra has since revealed that MEW will continue to provide a community service, by serving as a window to the Ethereum blockchain. Monahan presumably plans on building a business around MyCrypto.com. According to TechCrunch, the new project hasn’t raised VC funding “yet.”
A Potential “Unlawful” Social Media Takeover
The @myetherwallet Twitter account was suddenly changed by Monahan, to MyCrypto after the new project was announced. This hurt both services in the eyes of various cryptocurrency enthusiasts as it wasn’t previously announced.
The now MyCrypto account has since confirmed it rebranded and hasn’t been compromised. The takeover was explained through a tweet.
— MyCrypto.com (@mycrypto) February 9, 2018
MEW has since created a new Twitter account that hasn’t yet acquired the blue checkmark, which could be a security risk. Hemachandra has since taken to twitter to suggest the social media account’s takeover may have been “unlawful.”
https://t.co/zD327znNCg is secure and functioning normally. Your wallets have not been compromised, and you may continue to use MEW as intended. At present, however, we are investigating what we believe to be an improper, perhaps unlawful, social media account switch
— Kosala (@kvhnuke_) February 9, 2018