The co-founders of MyEtherWallet (MEW), an Ethereum-based cryptocurrency wallet service, have split up, and co-founder Taylor Monahan has now announced a rival venture called MyCrypto.
The co-founders of MyEtherWallet (MEW), an Ethereum-based cryptocurrency wallet service, have split up, and co-founder Taylor Monahan has now announced a rival venture called MyCrypto. MyCrypto’s announcement has sparked major controversy within the cryptocurrency community due to the tense split between Monahan and her former business partner, Kosala “kvhnuk” Hemachandra.
Monahan and Hemachandra launched MEW in 2015, and as Ethereum’s and other cryptocurrencies’ values skyrocketed, the pair put increasing effort into maintaining MEW. However, as the project grew, Monahan chose to focus on her own ventures, whereas Hemachandra continues to lead MEW and retain important services such as its domain and GitHub repository. MyCrypto, whose user interface looks remarkably similar to MEW’s, will soon launch its own website and apps.
Why Did Monahan Leave to Create MyCrypto?
Though MEW’s user base grew along with Cryptocurrency’s popularity, Monahan left the project to pursue her own ventures, and the reasons behind this breakaway remain somewhat unclear aside from the pair’s apparently divergent visions for the future of MEW. A blog post by Monahan, however, illuminates some of the reasons behind her departure, which include stress and desire for change.
In her blog, Monahan claims that MEW initially began as a hobby for both founders, but it eventually overwhelmed their schedules due to a massive uptick in users after public interest in cryptocurrency exploded. User feedback surged from roughly 20 requests per day into the thousands, and both founders’ GitHub contributions increased accordingly. Monahan claimed this
increased workload negatively impacted her physical and mental health as the rising value of cryptocurrency amplified MEW’s user volume along with the stakes involved in managing the platform. According to Monahan, queries and bugs became increasingly urgent, and the workload required to maintain MEW became overwhelming.
Monahan’s frustration with MEW apparently led her to develop MyCrypto and to prepare for its launch, she has assembled a new team over the course of nine months. Presumably, Monahan plans to build a new business around MyCrypto, and she intends for the new service to more deftly adapt to increases in user volume. While TechCrunch notes that Monahan’s new project has not yet received VC funding, MyCrypto will reportedly launch within the next few months.
What About MEW?
Both Hemachandra and Monahan have confirmed that MEW will remain online. In her blog, Monahan stated that if MEW went offline, she would warn other users in the cryptocurrency community. Likewise, Hemachandra has reassured users that MEW will continue to remain secure and function normally, noting that users’ wallets remain uncompromised. Overall, MEW’s core functionality appears unaffected by the change.
Controversial Twitter Moves
After leaving MEW and launching MyCrypto, Monahan controversially re-branded MEW’s Twitter account under MyCrypto. After the MyCrypto announcement, Monahan re-named MEW’s Twitter account to MyCrypto, affirming that the account had not been compromised. She justified the takeover by claiming that she was the primary user of MEW’s Twitter account and that she
did not want to lose the conversations and relationships she had made on that account.
Hemachandra, however, decried Monahan’s move as “improper” and “perhaps unlawful.” Though Hemachandra has created a new account for MEW in the aftermath, the new account has still not been verified, creating security risks for MEW’s social media. Regardless, this unannounced move has hurt both MEW and MyCrypto, sparking controversy among cryptocurrency enthusiasts.