If you want some Ether, you’ll need an Ethereum wallet.
In this guide, we’ll be using MyEtherWallet (often referred to as MEW). It is compatible with Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and all ERC-20 tokens.
Unlike wallets you find on centralized exchanges, MyEtherWallet never stores or has access to your private key! This means that if MyEtherWallet’s website is to be hacked, your funds will not be compromised as your private key is not stored within the website nor on its servers. It also means, though, that it is you that is responsible for the safety of your cryptocurrency and no one else.
To get a full understanding of how MyEtherWallet works, feel free to check out our full MyEtherWallet review.
How to Create an Ethereum Wallet Using MEW
Today I am going to show you how to generate your own Ethereum wallet (private key), so that you can store your Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens in a wallet you have full control of.
Let’s get right into it!
First things first — it is important to protect your private key from hackers. Your private key is what stores and gives you access to your cryptocurrencies. You need to be aware of phishing sites before creating a new wallet or accessing your wallet on MyEtherWallet.
Phishing Websites (Fake Websites): These are websites that look almost identical to the real MyEtherWallet website. However, if you enter your private key into one of these fake sites, the hackers will steal your private key and gain access to all of your cryptocurrencies.
To avoid this from happening, follow the steps below:
- Check the Website URL (you can use this link): https://www.myetherwallet.com/
2. Use Google Chrome and ensure that the SSL certificate looks exactly like the image below:
- Bookmark the website to add it to your browser. You should use this bookmark whenever you wish to access MyEtherWallet.
You can also check MyEtherWallet’s twitter at https://twitter.com/myetherwallet, as they are usually quick to update their users regarding phishing attacks.
Generating an Ethereum Private Key
So, now that we’ve covered safety, you’re ready to generate your own Ethereum private key.
Head over to https://www.myetherwallet.com/. Once there, you will be asked to enter a password in order to create your new Ethereum wallet. Write this password down and store it somewhere safe. Then click Create New Wallet.
Next, you will be asked to download your KeyStore File. This is an encrypted file which contains your private key. In order to decrypt this file, you will need to use the password you set in the previous step.
If someone was to get access to this file AND they knew your password, they would be able to access the funds in your wallet.
Click the download button and save the file to your hard drive or a USB stick. Then, click I Understand. Continue.
Next, you will be asked to save your private key. Your private key gives you instant access to your wallet. DO NOT save this in a file on your PC, unless you want to risk losing your funds.
You should either print it out (using the Print Paper Wallet button) or simply write it down. Whichever method you choose, be sure to store it somewhere extra safe!
I wouldn’t recommend that anyone uses their private key to access their wallet on MyEtherWallet. Instead, you should use the previously downloaded KeyStore file along with your password.
That’s it, you now have your own Ethereum wallet!
Accessing Your Ethereum Wallet
Now, if you want to access your wallet, click Save Your Address and access your wallet using the KeyStore/JSON File option.
You will be asked to upload the KeyStore file you saved earlier, and then enter the password you set.
Once you have done that, you will then be logged in to your wallet’s interface.
This is where you can view your balance, as well as send cryptocurrencies to other wallets. You will also be able to view your wallet’s public key (highlighted below), which is the key you provide to users who want to send you Ether or ERC-20 tokens.
If you have any questions regarding this process, please feel free to leave a comment below.
However, if you would like to learn more about MyEtherWallet before you use it, please feel free to check out our MEW review.