Myetherwallet Hard Forks
Mycrypto’s Taylor Monahan
On Thursday evening, the Myetherwallet Twitter account announced to its 77,000 followers that it had rebranded as Mycrypto and had a new Twitter handle to match. There was just one problem: founder Taylor Monahan doesn’t seem to have told her co-founder Kosala. The revelation sparked a Twitter spat and overshadowed what had initially looked like a slick rebrand. The first ethereum wallet with a proper interface, MEW, as it’s affectionately known, has been around since 2015.
Its users witnessed the DAO hack and subsequent hard fork of the ethereum blockchain to create two versions of the coin: ETH and ETC. Now, MEW has undergone its own hard fork that’s set to be every bit as contentious as the one that came in the wake of the DAO. In a blog post, Taylor explained the reasons behind the rebrand – but conveniently forgot to mention that she had done so without the consensus of her founding partner, and had nabbed the Twitter account into the bargain. In December, Kosala filed a lawsuit in California after Taylor allegedly refused to let him inspect MEW’s books.
Headed “A New Beginning”, the post begins: “This is the story of Myetherwallet, and how this has led us down the path to Mycrypto. It is long because I hope it gives you insight into who we were, who we are, and who we aim to be in 2018 and beyond.” The article then delves into MEW’s humble beginnings in 2015 when it was created by Taylor and Kosala. She explains: “It was a simple interface that provided a simple solution to a problem: when Ethereum first launched, the only way to send your Ether was via command line.”
The ICO Years
Myetherwallet started out as little more than a hobby, but by 2017, amidst peak ICO mania, had become the hub around which the entire ethereum community revolved. Taylor recalls:
When the price skyrocketed, ICOs and noobs came zooming in on the promise of getting rich. We suddenly had a real user base and real servers that we had to learn to scale. The phishing sites appeared and the work and expertise to be secure in this space climbed steadily. Our daily messages doubled, and then doubled again… and again… and again.
She confesses that the toll of answering support tickets until long into the night took its toll. “My husband..cooked dinner each evening, and carried me to bed at 4am… then 5am… then 7am when I fell asleep typing at the computer. I consistently chose “trying to help one more person” over “a few more moments of sleep”. And there was “always one more person.”
Mighty Wallets From Tiny Acorns Grow
Moving to the present day, Taylor explains: “This adventure needed to transform from ‘fun side project’ to ‘a real company’ …and fast.” As of today, ethereum users can get their ethereum fix from Mycrypto.com which operates just like Myetherwallet.com. “Myetherwallet will continue to be online until it, for whatever reason, is not online,” writes Taylor, hinting at the fact that the rebrand may not have been a unanimous decision.
It is evident that a rift had developed between MEW’s founders, who had once been so tight, for Taylor writes: “I was terrified — am terrified — at the potential harm this change will have on myself, the team, and/or the Ethereum community but ultimately, the risks created by continuing down the road we were on are greater than the risks of splitting to a new brand, new company, new name, and new domain.”
Within minutes of tweeting news of the rebrand, Kosala hit back via a new MEW Twitter account, writing: “Myetherwallet is safe and functioning normally. You may continue to use Myetherwallet as you normally would, your wallets have not been compromised. At present, we are dealing with what we believe to be an unlawful, social media account switch. We are addressing the situation presently and @kvhnuke_ will provide updates as they come available”. He has since provided a full statement confirming the split.
The Ethereum community are accustomed to dealing with splits, but the forking of Myetherwallet seems to have caught everyone unawares.