MyEtherWallet Launches Mobile ‘Hardware Wallet’ App Beta for iOS

  • ETH wallet interface MyEtherWallet has launched a beta version of its "hardware wallet" app, 
  • The app will reportedly allow users to access their funds without entering their private keys.

Popular Ethereum wallet interface MyEtherWallet (MEW) has recently launched a mobile ‘hardware wallet’ app for iOS, still in its beta version. The app, MEWconnect, is set to allow users to protect their funds as if they had a hardware wallet.

According to a recently published blog post, MyEtherWallet’s app is still in its infancy and, as such, this version is to be used for testing and debugging. The service asks users not to “use [the] beta version as a permanent ETH storage solution.”

The app essentially lets users log into the service without using their private keys, a significant security addition given the phishing attacks that have plagued the crypto ecosystem. MEW itself was hit when hackers attacked the internet’s core infrastructure to swindle its users.

Per the organization, the MEWconnect app gives users the “security of a cold-storage wallet on your mobile phone.” Its post reads:

We want to provide you with an instant and secure way to store and exchange ETH, while at the same time facilitating wider cryptocurrency adoption. We believe MEWconnect is that missing link the Ethereum community has been looking for.

MyEtherWallet

A stable version of the app for both iOS and Android is set to be released in August. Cold-storage solutions like Trezor and Ledger wallets are seen as the best way crypto enthusiasts have to secure their funds, but can cost between $90 and $200. The MEWconnect app, however, will be free.

Speaking to TechCrunch, MyEtherWallet founder Kosala Hemachandra revealed the service has also launched a bug bounty program along with the beta version, so users can help test the app and improve its security. Rewards for submitting a bug will vary between $250 and $2,000.

In the future, the app could add payment options and other features. Notably, as CryptoGlobe covered, the release comes shortly after MyEtherWallet added ETH credit card purchases through a new partnership.

A rival service, MyCrypto, which took over MyEtherWallet’s Twitter account when it launched in what was deemed a “hostile takeover,” is also looking into ‘hardware wallet’ app solutions as it currently supports the Parity Singer app.

Alternateth: A 'Friendly' Ethereum Fork to Be Released for Testing and Research Purposes

James Hancock, the Project Team Lead at EthSignals, an organization focused on providing “tools and sources of high-quality information” to assist in the growth of Ethereum’s (ETH) ecosystem, has revealed that he intends to conduct a “friendly fork” of the world’s largest smart contract platform.

Friendly Fork Will Serve as Tesnet for Main ETH Blockchain

Referred to as “Alternateth,” the Ethereum fork will serve as “a sister chain” to the Ethereum mainnet. This, as Alternateth will primarily be used to test and explore various design ideas and proof-of-concepts (POCs) - before they’re launched on the main Ethereum blockchain.

In statements shared with CoinDesk, Hancock said that the Ethereum fork would be launched within the next two months. He also mentioned:

For ethereum to be sound money, it needs to be very conservative in making changes. For ethereum to keep pace with competition it needs to keep making changes. These two ideas are in tension as it is difficult to do both well.

As the world’s second-largest blockchain-based network, Ethereum’s market capitalization currently stands at nearly $33 billion - with Ether tokens trading at around $310. Although Ethereum has managed to remain the dominant platform for building decentralized applications (dApps), there are several legitimate competitors that have entered the cryptocurrency industry.

These include EOS and TRON (TRX), both of which saw their mainnets go live during the summer months of 2018. Notably, both EOS and TRON appear to have more dApps running on their networks when compared to Ethereum, however recent reports have confirmed that Ethereum still has the most developers working to improve its platform.

Serving as a Testnet for Programmatic Proof-of-Work (ProgPoW)

According to Hancock, Alternateth’s main goal will be to test new technologies and protocols, including the Programmatic proof-of-work (ProgPoW) algorithm, before they’re considered safe for launch on the Ethereum mainnet.

While Ethereum’s core developers had decided in January of this year that ProgPoW could be added to the smart contract platform in a future update, the exact date (or with which upgrade) for when it will go live has not yet been finalized. The protocol still might require additional testing, which Alternateth could be used for (when launched).

Incentivizing Developers to Work on Alternateth

In order to incentivize developers, Hancock has proposed distributing mining rewards to contributors in a manner that is similar to how the Zcash blockchain is used to compensate network participants.

As noted by Hancock, the Alternateth network will accumulate mining rewards into a multi-signature address “comprised of multiple trusted community members.”

Currently, Hancock is trying to get other Ethereum developers involved in preparing Alternateth for launch.

He confirmed that the relatively new ProgPoW mining protocol will be used for mining on the forked Ethereum network. Hancock also noted that the project’s founders would not conduct any fundraising campaign - as its funds would come in the form of donations and other types of voluntary contributions.

While explaining the primary objective of the project, Hancock remarked:

It will be a test-bed for some of these upcoming features [for Ethereum] and will support funding development for the main chain…Similar to the relationship between litecoin and bitcoin.