Those who didn't catch the announcement made by Taylor Monahan last night awoke on February 9, 2018, to find the Twitter handle behind one of the most popular Ether wallets, MyEtherWallet, had been changed to @MyCrypto.
Monahan's move to change the name of the social media account coincided with her publication of an announcement that she would launch MyCrypto, a competitive cryptocurrency wallet service.
Per Monahan's official statement:
"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 [sic] building, providing support, educating, and ensuring the security of https://mycrypto.com and all future products."
Monahan's announcement detailed the history of MyEtherWallet, and her participation in the platform, as well as the toll it began to take on her personal life; while the value of Ether rose, transaction volume began to exceed the capacity MyEtherWallet's staff could handle. Often the subject of angry users' scorn, Monahan admitted that the pressure began to affect her mental health and marriage as she lost more and more sleep choosing to address tickets.
Many were left wondering what to make of the situation, and among those apparently blindsided by the rebranding was MyEtherWallet's cofounder, Kosala Hemachandra. On the Twitter account now associated with MyEtherWallet, he claimed that he had no foreknowledge of the rebranding effort, further contending that the social media handle "was changed without knowledge or permission of MEW's founder." The message goes on to read, "We are investigating the matter, and will update everyone shortly. Stay tuned for further updates."
Hemachandra made an announcement shortly after 1 p.m. on February 9, addressing the departure of Monahan and her team from MyEtherWallet. An excerpt reads:
"Alas, for reasons I cannot delve into here, our partnership had to end. During the transition yesterday, however, MEW's Twitter account was switched from @myetherwallet to @mycrypto, and tens of thousands of MEW followers were left scratching their heads. Indeed, the change was unexpected, and I'm still in the process of determining the justification behind the switch, and how this issue will be resolved. I don't know what the fall out from this will be ultimately, but I will not be on the offensive or defensive discussing the circumstances surrounding our decision to separate beyond my statement here."
In that reddit post, Hemachandra also expressed appreciation for Monahan's efforts in building up MyEtherWallet and wishes her and the MyCrypto team "the very best," adding that "competition is a good thing because it serves as a driving force behind innovation."
It wasn't a smooth transition. In a world where scams and phishing attempts have directly targeted MyEtherWallet's web presence by impersonating the site and services in an effort to part cryptocurrency holders with their assets, some have criticized the move by Monahan, who set up and operated the former MyEtherWallet Twitter handle as her personal social media account.
The announcement came without forewarning, and it took the better half of a day for Hemachandra to provide an official response outside of tweets indicating he was unaware of Monahan's decision until after she had made it. Many members of the community were not shy about having their say on social media platforms like Twitter and reddit, leading to some acrimonious exchanges.
MyCrypto is not without support from prominent figures in the Ethereum community: the community manager for the Ethereum Foundation, Hudson Jameson, staked his reputation on Monahan's goodwill to the ecosystem. Hudson wrote, "I vouch for the integrity of /u/insomniasexx [Monahan's reddit handle] 100%. I encourage everyone to have patience and don't judge a project on a single event but on the totality of their work."
When asked if he also vouched for the integrity of Hemachandra, Hudson said no, adding that his personal opinion doesn't reflect that of the Ethereum Foundation.
This story is continuing to develop and ETHNews will provide additional coverage as details emerge.