Even though it originated in 2009 with the release of Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency industry has only recently seen a significant increase in its development activities, which has resulted in numerous solutions coming to surface in the last year itself.
From new platforms to innovative solutions, 2017 saw the release of several new ventures that allowed users to get the most out of using cryptocurrency based products and services – and one such solution was the Mist Wallet.
It is also officially known as the Ethereum Wallet since it was created and released by the network’s own developers.
Your confusion is understandable. Let’s go ahead and comprehend the difference between the terms “Mist” and “Ethereum Wallet”.
Mist is a blockchain-based browser that was created by Ethereum developers and which still sees heavy updates to its interface, as it is in the process of becoming the primary solution to explore blockchain networks and decentralized apps (DApps) in the form of blockchain powered Web 3.0.
The Mist browser has various DApps associated with it, with each of them having their own codes and products available within them. The “Mist” wallet, is, therefore, a part of that bundle of DApps, and was separately released as the Ethereum Wallet to act as a standalone product that could function properly without having to wait for the complete release of Mist – which is still in beta testing.
That is where the term of “Mist” came into association with the wallet. You may call it the Mist Wallet, but that will be technically incorrect since that refers to the browser application, and thus the official name for this would be the Ethereum Wallet.
You may also verify this through this GitHub page which contains all Mist releases with the wallet being called the “Ethereum Wallet” along with Mist Browser Beta version 0.11.0 at the time of writing this guide.
Mist Wallet Review: Alright, So What Does the Wallet Do?
The Ethereum Wallet supports Ether (ETH) and related ERC20 tokens, and was created by Ethereum developers. These developers aimed to provide the network’s users with a reliable and secure solution in order to keep their cryptocurrency information safe without having to worry about losing it to hackers and other malicious parties – all without having to use any third party solutions.
With a slew of cryptocurrency wallet solutions already out there, the presence of Mist does raise a question in users’ minds about what makes the service different from the other horde of wallet services that were established long before it; how does it compare in terms of popular security standards that are now considered a norm in the industry; and how easy it is to use the service for day to day cryptocurrency transactions.
Keeping these questions in mind, we have put together a concise guide to Ethereum/Mist Wallet and its related services in order for you to easily determine whether or not the service is a viable option for you.
It’s the Official Wallet of the Ethereum Blockchain
Simply put, the answer to all of the security-related questions would be that the solution is the official wallet app of the Ethereum blockchain, and thus remains as one of the most secure wallets available for the network and its supported crytocurrencies.
However, when it comes to inquiries regarding usability, the Ethereum Wallet falters as compared to third-party solutions, since it is only available as a desktop client on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems and no other platforms.
Furthermore, the wallet actually requires users to download the whole blockchain data from the Ethereum blockchain, which can take days to set up depending upon your internet connection.
The wallet will also sync with the Ethereum blockchain each time you have to access it, which will take some additional time on each login session. This is a mandatory process that cannot be skipped even if you do not have to do anything else on the Ethereum blockchain except to use the Ethereum Wallet.
Despite these hurdles, since the Ethereum Wallet is created and operated through the blockchain network itself, it remains highly secure and free of any hazards of a user getting hacked through a third-party offender (just ensure not to share your passwords and private keys with anyone).
Mist Wallet Review: How Does the Ethereum Wallet Work and What are Its Charges?
As mentioned above, users can store Ether and other ERC20 tokens on the Ethereum Wallet while also being able to transfer funds by the send and receive function to another Ethereum or third-party wallet address that supports the relevant cryptocurrencies.
There are no charges for using the service to keep your cryptocurrency information safe, but there are transaction charges for sending cryptocurrencies to another wallet. These charges depend upon the network and are shown to the user before a transaction is executed.
Users can also exchange between Ether and ERC20 assets by the integration of ShapeShift’s cryptocurrency exchange, which allows almost instant trades with some fees accrued to them which depend upon ShapeShift and the Ethereum network transaction fee.
How Recommended is the Ethereum Wallet for Usage?
The Ethereum Wallet is highly recommended for advanced users who know their way around a blockchain client since it provides security of the kind that is a rarity to witness in any other third party wallet services.
But it does not mean that new cryptocurrency users cannot use the wallet. The graphics interface of the wallet is very easy to navigate, so once the installation process has been completed, even novice users can easily utilize the wallet by only giving a few minutes to it in order to understand how it all works.
Apart from the additional installation and increased load times on every login, the major hurdle in using the Ethereum Wallet seems to be its lack of multi-platform support. While other third-party wallets allow users to access them through the web and mobile apps most of the time, the Ethereum Wallet is only restricted to desktop access, which makes it fall behind in accessibility.
With that being said, it still remains one of the securest solutions for storing the information of your Ether and ERC20 tokens. Therefore, if you do not have an issue with accessing your cryptocurrency information through one single device, then go ahead and start using Ethereum Wallet, and decide for yourself whether you like it or not.