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To buy and store your first Ethereum, you can choose several paths. You can choose the core Ethereum wallet, but face the hassle of completing the whole blockchain. There are also desktop wallets that do not hold the complete blockchain. MyEtherWallet is a great mix of security and availability, with easy and simplified features.

According to fans of MyEtherWallet, the service has been essential in the widespread adoption of Ethereum. Especially given that the core wallet is a challenge to most computers and may simply freeze up before finishing the download of the whole blockchain.

Create a New Wallet

The online service allows anyone to anonymously create a wallet, even offline. The creation of a wallet happens in a browser, but MEW is not a web wallet where a third party holds your keys. You hold your private keys- MEW is simply a service that can run a wallet from many sources, including a 12-word mnemonic phrase, a saved private key or other sources such as Trezor hardware wallet.

Troubleshooting MEW

One day, you want to check your balance and this happens:

You can sit around and wait around, but you can also run MEW entirely on your computer- and even move it to an airtight offline computer.

To do so, go to the GitHub page and download the latest version of the etherwallet.

To run the wallet, open the .zip and click on index.html- and that's it, this starts the wallet in a browser.

You can generate a UTC keystone file and have a brand new wallet created offline. To have access to MEW, you simply keep the whole .zip file without moving things around. The wallet has just the right .html and javascript files to run. The very same process happens when you are online.

Securing MyEtherWallet

You will need a strong password- write it down, the service cannot recover it and your wallet and your funds would be lost.

Then, you will need to securely hold your UTC keystone file. Locate it on your computer and back it up in at least two remote locations. A flash drive will do. Losing the UTC file means losing your wallet.

You can also expose your private keys and copy them on a USB stick and even write them down on paper.

MyEtherWallet Transactions

Every transaction on the Ethereum network requires computation. And for that computation, you pay in Gas. The Gas price will be displayed in your wallet. There is also a parameter called "Gas Limit". For any transaction, the cost is the Gas price multiplied by the Gas limit. The usual transaction is below $1, but may rise for smart contracts and some ICOs.

To achieve faster transactions, you can increase the Gas limit and Gas price.

This is not a fee related to Ethereum- this is a fee for miners who are discovering blocks and securing the blockchain. A higher end fee means your transaction may go through faster.

Always test a new wallet with a small transaction to see it appearing in the balance. Mistakes or technical problems mean that

MyEtherWallet and Tokens

You can store a vast array of Ethereum-based tokens on MEW. You can also receive ICO tokens, provided you follow instructions to a tee. The tokens you own will be displayed either in your Token Balance, or can be viewed through the Etherscan feature.

When you buy a new token, gas price may increase due to network overload. The maximum gas price is 50 Gwei. Above that, the transaction automatically fails. Even if a transaction fails, you will not get your gas fee back.

The Verdict on MyEtherWallet

A small problem with MEW is that it forces you to use only one public address to send and receive funds. But to increase anonymity, you can create an endless number of wallets.

The transparent gas price is an additional feature when you need to speed up or secure a transaction.

MyEtherWallet is essential for all users of Ethereum and related tokens. Even if you have other wallets running, MEW helps achieve higher security and flexibility. It seems indeed like the backbone of the Ethereum network and community, so it is best to learn and use this fast and easy wallet.