MyEtherWallet (MEW) is one of the most well-known wallets for cryptocurrency, and it has had a flawless reputation thus far. Now a new controversy on censorship and a potentially fake “rebrand” is in the works, as the MEW team has splintered.
A Social Media Takeover
It all started when MEW’s co-founder, Taylor Monahan (AKA “tayvano_” on Twitter and “insomniasexx” on Reddit) left the MyEtherWallet team to create her own new version, MyCrypto. The controversy started when she announced that MyEtherWallet had rebranded to her new product in this Twitter post, to the surprise of creator and co-founder Kosala Hemachandra (“kvhnuke_” on Twitter and “kvhnuke” on Reddit):
Surprise, Your Fan Base of 78K is Gone!
Without notice or transparency, the Twitter social media account for @MyEtherWallet suddenly became @MyCrypto. In response to the massive amount of questions asked on Twitter, Taylor first put out this response on the co-opted Twitter account, followed by a long post on Medium:
Alarm in the Community
The response of the community has been mixed. Last night, as members of the Reddit community noticed the rebrand, many questioned the safety of their MEW wallets. There are some strong fans of Taylor’s statement, but many responses encapsulate this: running a social media account does not give you the right to take it without permission when you launch a new business.
MEW Co-Founder Blind sighted
The creator of MyEtherWallet, however, didn’t even know this was coming. It all happened so quickly that he hasn’t even had time to make a response yet. This post in r/Ethereum shows he (kvhnuke) was taken completely by surprise.
Censoring the Story
Follow the trail of commentary on Reddit and you’ll find a disturbing amount of downvoting and possible censorship, making it hard to discern the true story. Taylor is one of the moderators for the r/Ethereum subreddit. It seems she and perhaps others are erasing posts that tell other sides of the story.
MyCrypto also owns and maintains the site etherscamdb.info which announced, “We recommend using MyCrypto.com moving forward for any interactions with the Ethereum blockchain. We no longer recommend MEW. Thank you!” following the social media takeover. The banner has since been removed and the site is back up following a server error.
MEW and MyCrypto
Side by side, the two websites for MyEtherWallet and MyCrypto look almost identical. Taylor and the MyCrypto team have plans to build more functionality and compatibility with other cryptocurrencies, as the new name suggests.
The argument of Team Taylor is that kvhnuke hadn’t been actively coding MEW for the last six months. Taylor and other members of the MEW team who left with her argue that his lack of involvement meant the project could no longer evolve and led to the decision to launch MyCrypto.
Whatever the reasoning behind the new project, Taylor has certainly caused a lot of panic over wallet safety and created enemies in the crypto community, many of whom were big supporters of her work on MEW.