MyEtherWallet controversy: Should you trust MyCrypto?

MyEtherWallet vs MyCrypto. Whom should you trust with your money? Rados.io team investigated the split between MEW's cofounders and you won't believe what we have found!

MyEtherWallet controversy: Should you trust MyCrypto?

On February 8th, 2018, Taylor Monahan, one of MyEtherWallet's cofounders, has posted this article[1] on her Medium blog. Let's summarize the article with quotes from it.

This is the story of MyEtherWallet, and how this has led us down the path to MyCrypto.
MyEtherWallet started with just two people, kvhnuke and tayvano (me!). It was a simple interface that provided a simple solution to a problem: when Ethereum first launched, the only way to send your Ether was via command line.
When the price skyrocketed, ICOs and noobs came zooming in on the promise of getting rich. We suddenly had a real user base and real servers that we had to learn to scale.
My friends, family, and especially husband saw the toll this responsibility was having on my mental health and urged me to stop letting it destroy me. My husband answered as many support tickets as he could each day, cooked dinner each evening, and carried me to bed at 4am… then 5am… then 7am when I fell asleep typing at the computer. I consistently chose “trying to help one more person” over “a few more moments of sleep”. And there was always one more person.
MyEtherWallet LLC was sufficient for the early stages of growth. MyCrypto is designed with next-level scaling in mind from the beginning. The team I have assembled over the past 9 months and I will now be be building, providing support, educating, and ensuring the security of https://mycrypto.com and all future products.

After this announcement, MyEtherWallet's twitter account with a verified badge and 80,000 followers got renamed to MyCrypto.

Sounds like a pretty normal rebrand, doesn't it? Except, this time around, one of MEW's cofounders kvhnuke, and the man who wrote most of the server-side code that makes sure that users' ETH and tokens are secure, didn't know about this rebrand.

We took a moment to investigate what has happened and here's our summary.

  1. When MEW grew out of a side project into a demanding business, kvhnuke being the silent coder type let Taylor Monahan, his more outspoken cofounder, register the company - MyEtherWallet LLC.
  2. In late 2017 kvhnuke and Taylor seemed to have an argument over the direction the project should take on going forward. While we don't know Kosala's (kvhnuke's real name) plans yet, looks like Taylor wanted to raise money from a venture capital fund.
  3. In order to split up and divide their stakes in MEW LLC Kosala has requested the financial details from Taylor, who was the only one who had access to this information. Access to these details was repeatedly denied. Maybe because she didn't want Kosala to know how the funds were being spent from their joint account?
  4. Kosala had no other option other than to file a lawsuit against Taylor. The details of the lawsuit can be found if you follow this link[2]. The gist of it is that Kosala wants to see MEW LLC's financial reports. No further demands have been made yet.
  5. Meanwhile, Taylor has been in talks with BoostVC. They knew about the lawsuit so they didn't invest their money yet. However, they wanted a piece of the most trusted and well-known Ethereum application so they encouraged her to separate. When Taylor said "MyEtherWallet LLC was sufficient" she really means "Hey, I'm so amazing and I want to screw my cofounder over. He was sufficient when we needed to build out blockchain infrastructure. Now that we just need to do design and customer support I'm going to make a new company and use his open source code".
  6. On December 6th, 2017, Taylor Monahan has registered MyCrypto, Inc. as a Delaware C-Corp - the preferred company structure for receiving VC investment in the United States. You can verify this information on Delaware Divisions of Corporations website[3].
  7. On February 8th, 2018, Taylor Monahan posts the medium article announcing MyCrypto's existence, hints that MEW is insecure and people should switch (a nonsense statement that has since been redacted), and hijacks MEW's twitter account.
  8. MEW users are enraged and they demand the twitter account to be given back to MEW. Taylor posts this image as an answer to this question. Perhaps the mental issues that she has mentioned in her medium post are still affecting her? One has to be a delusional egomaniac to think that 80,000 people subscribed to chat with one person and not because it's the official twitter account of their wallet that they store very real money in.

taylor-monahan-mycrypto-twitter

In short, I suggest sticking to MyEtherWallet. Kvhnuke has a track record for being a trustworthy person and capable of writing secure code and scaling the platform. Taylor Monahan could also be considered trustworthy before she stole the twitter account. Modern day businesses' assets are increasingly becoming immaterial and social media accounts are one of such valuable assets. If she stole something valuable from a person she has worked with for two years, why wouldn't she steal ETH or tokens from random people on the internet whom she'd never even meet in person?

Also, stay away from BoostVC who are encouraging such unethical actions while taking no risk upon themselves. Business is a cruel world, I get it. But if you are going to make a profit from an unethical action you should share the risk as well. In case of BoostVC they are taking no risk since they are waiting to invest until after Taylor Monahan's lawsuit verdict.

The court hearing for Kosala vs Taylor is scheduled for March 27th, 2018. We will update this article if we find more information.

If there's something that you know about this situation that we've missed, please mention in in the comments below.

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  1. https://medium.com/mycrypto/mycrypto-launch-6a066bf41093 ↩︎

  2. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CHz_Fe5DqM7Aszsr5LwTdol85YsEJaaZ/view ↩︎

  3. https://icis.corp.delaware.gov/ecorp/entitysearch/NameSearch.aspx ↩︎

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