MyEtherWallet, the most popular crypto wallet service, is getting a mobile app as it bids to increase security for its users.
On July 23, the company introduced MEW Connect, an iOS app that allows users to access their wallet through MyEtherWallet but without the need to type their private key.
The app is launching in the coming days as a limited iOS beta. Given that the website receives more than 600 000 visitors per day, demand for the beta is likely to be high. Those who aren’t successful this time around shouldn’t have too long to wait as a full launch is expected to come by the end of September. An Android version is also in the works and is expected to be released around the same time.
The app uses a QR code scanner that replaces the need to enter a private key. Entering information like a private key on a website is something that people have always been warned against doing. Recent analysis suggests that more than $7 million has been stolen via phishing attacks on wallet services, but still people are reluctant to buy a hardware wallet, so such things continue to happen.
Now, using the MEW Connect app you simply scan a barcode on MyEtherWallet.com, which opens your wallet account using a peer-to-peer connection. The wallet uses Apple’s encryption standards to achieve security, hence the lack of a need to use a passphrase, private key, or a keystone file, as with using MEW on a computer.
The phone-based app also issues a master password and a 12-word passphrase to recover access to the app account in case the phone is lost. This is yet another layer of encryption on top of MEW. The same wallet may be used on a computer and unlocked in other ways.
App reviewers note that the design also suggests upcoming features such as a form of peer-to-peer payments. But payments may not be immediately available, said MyEtherWallet founder Kosala Hemachandra for TechCrunch.
The wallet may become one of the central apps in the crypto asset community, but for now, it is at an early stage and beta users may report bugs and problems.