In this episode, Bobby Ong, co-founder of CoinGecko is joined by Kosala Hemachandra, CEO of MyEtherWallet. Bobby interviewed Kosala on the background of MyEtherWalllet, its business model, his thoughts on ETH 2.0 and Layer 2, their experience with phishing attacks, as well as MyEtherWallet’s future plans.
[00:01:07] Introduction of MyEtherWallet
[00:05:28] MyEtherWallet’s business model
[00:10:55] Thoughts about Layer 2 and ETH 2.0
[00:17:39] Thoughts on multi-chain
[00:19:51] MyEtherWallet’s Chrome extension
[00:21:59] Stories of phishing attack
[00:30:19] How big is MyEtherWallet team?
[00:33:00] Plans for MyEtherWallet for the next few years
Quotes from the episode:
“There are a ton of like actual Layer 2 solutions that I prefer, and we are actually in talks with some of them on integrating them to MyEtherWallet and MEW wallet and all of our other products.” [00:11:56]
“There're like 1000, 1500 people will just go and report spam the Chrome extension. And then Google, without knowing anything, they'll take down the extension. And now these phishers will put up a different extension with the same name. So unfortunately people do download these like fake extensions.” [00:20:12]
“So we will always be open source, trustworthy and be the nexus point of Ethereum. That's where I want to be, we want to be as the whole team." [00:33:48]
MyEtherWallet - http://myetherwallet.com/
CoinGecko - https://www.coingecko.com/
Bobby Ong [00:00:00]:
Welcome to the CoinGecko podcast. I'm your host Bobby Ong. Each week, we will be interviewing someone from the blockchain industry to learn more about these fast moving crypto currency economy. If this is your first time listening then, thanks for coming. The CoinGecko podcast is produced each week to help you stay ahead of the curve. Show notes can be found at podcast.coingecko.com. I highly encourage you to join our newsletter, where we send out top news in the crypto industry every Monday to Friday. Come back often and feel free to add the podcast to your favorite RSS feed or iTunes. You can also follow us on Twitter and Telegram at CoinGecko.
Welcome to the CoinGecko podcast for today's episode, we have Kosala Hemachandra, CEO of MyEtherWallet. MyEtherWallet is the leading Ethereum wallet interface, which is free, open source and secure. Kosala is driven by the idea that blockchain technology will help define a new era of global finance. He has over nine years of experience as a computer engineer and has grown MyEtherWallet into an LA-based blockchain company. Welcome to the CoinGecko podcast, Kosala.
Kosala Hemachandra [00:01:04]:
Thank you so much for having me, Bobby.
Bobby Ong [00:01:07]:
Yeah. To start things off Kosala, tell us a little bit more about MyEtherWallet and how do you get started building it?
Kosala Hemachandra [00:01:12]:
Yeah. So MyEtherWallet is currently the nexus point of all the things Ethereum, like if you're transacting Ethereum, we support that. We have a whole bunch of dApps that we support. Basically like you can accomplish any tasks you want to accomplish in Ethereum using MyEtherWallet. And the beginning or starting of MyEtherWallet goes back to the starting of actual Ethereum mainnet because we started right after, like two weeks from Ethereum mainnet launch. So basically the long story short, I got into Bitcoin during my senior year at college, I was doing computer engineering as my major and around the same time, Ethereum yellow paper got released, and then I started reading about it and got really into it. And ever since then, I've been following Ethereum through Ethereum's development cycles and eventually I realized that when Ethereum launched, I realized people were having issues transacting, like sending transactions or looking at their balance things like that on Ethereum, because at that point in time only command line tools existed. So it's not, it wasn't easy for everyone to just jump in and then, transact or accomplish even the simplest things on Ethereum. So that's basically when I decided, okay, I'm going to build an interface to help these people out. And that's the beginning of MyEtherWallet ever since then, it's 2021, so more than five, it's almost six years.
Bobby Ong [00:02:43]:
Wow! Time flies.
Kosala Hemachandra [00:02:46]:
I know. Well, I don't know whether we can count 2020, so, but 2020 is still a year. So it's been, yeah, it's been six years. Time flies, definitely.
Bobby Ong [00:02:56]:
Yeah. What are some of the interesting things that you guys have been working on the past year?
Kosala Hemachandra [00:03:01]:
I know past year has been like very slow for a lot of other industries. But that's definitely not the case for crypto projects. Especially because like, in a way, all like developers work from home anyway. So it's not like a new thing for them. The whole pandemic made everyone worked from home, but developers are already used to working from home. So it did not slow it down. So we definitely as another crypto project, even though we have our office in downtown Los Angeles, we were able to transition very quickly to work from home type of situation. And in order to safeguard the team and make sure everyone's safe and not getting the virus and everything, we took early steps to move the team and then make sure they're working from home and just similar to like a lot of other crypto projects in this space, we continue to develop. And we actually did couple of new things or like brand new stuff in 2020. I want to mention like, MEW, version five is the current live version and then version six, we did a lot of work on that. So it's coming up pretty soon. And our MEW wallet, the mobile wallet, that MEW mobile application that made by MyEtherWallet is also went through a lot of upgrades and like had a lot of new features to it. MEWtopia, our educational platform had ton of articles written and I believe we, you know, one way or another, we made a lot of people more educated in this space.
Bobby Ong [00:04:28]:
Were you guys the first like wallet for Ethereum and were you guys the first wallet for mobile as well, or I don't think it's for the mobile, right?
Kosala Hemachandra [00:04:35]:
No, for sure, definitely not for the mobile, but even for the Ethereum, there were couple of wallets came up around the same timeframe. But definitely they did not survive in the long run. And then, I mean, of course you can see a lot of other wallets now. But like a lot of wallets that came up in like towards the beginning of Ethereum mainnet disappear after like six, seven, eight months. And only MyEtherWallet lived through the hardship. Because you had to think about it this way, right? Like when Ethereum first came out there was no actual value proposition. Like no one was making money and ETH was what, 33 cents or a dollar back then. So it's not like a very beneficial project for anyone to do. And therefore, not that many projects worked on Ethereum or not that many wallets were working on Ethereum back then.
Bobby Ong [00:05:27]:
What would you say is the business model for MyEtherWallet? I mean, the wallet business is it's quite a hard business to monetize, right? Do you agree with that?
Kosala Hemachandra [00:05:35]:
Yeah. Totally, definitely. And also being an open source project also like has its disadvantages, right? I mean, it doesn't matter what we do, like even if we, for example, I'm never going to do this, but like let's say we assume that, okay, we are going to charge each person to send a transaction. And since we are open source, it's possible for anyone to just clone it and then take that code out and just use it as a free service. So definitely being open source has its disadvantages, but I think the advantages at the end of the day overcomes all the disadvantages in the space because it just gives community, unlike other developers a lot of power, and then they can contribute to open source project. And I've seen this in the past six years that like ton and a lot of contributors to MyEtherWallet project and they're still contributing. So, yeah, to answer your question, how to monetize a wallet or a project similar to that, it's about like how creative you can be about the whole situation. So the way that we monetize it, we always go after the other businesses. So when we partner with a company or another project, like for example, right now we have Smart Wallet Swap powered by 1inch and Sergej.
So we take a commission out of that, like the whole swap process. So that's one way to monetize it. And our like, exit to FIAT gateways, for example, like when you want to convert your ETH to USD or ETH to Euros and the other way round, right, like when you have USD to ETH, we have all these bridges set up and then we take a commission out of the commission that the other companies or the third party provider that provides this whole swap situation to happen or swap scenario to happen, charges. So yeah, it's all about like being creative about this whole situation. Where do people actually spend money and then see, how to charge a fee off of that without actually making it cost a lot for the user. So I think that's one way. And then also at the same time, you're bringing in a lot of simplicity to the picture, right? Because it's not, like now a user doesn't have to go through like a KYC, sign up with an exchange and do whole bunch of like, otherwise the user has to spend two, three hours just to get their accounts set up. Now they don't have do that. And that brings simplicity. The whole user experience is much better and that's something a user is willing to pay for.
Bobby Ong [00:08:06]:
Interesting. I'm sure there's a lot of interest in a token swap, especially now that entering like a from a centralized model to a decentralized exchange model. So it must definitely benefit like you guys with this trend, which is a good thing, I would say.
Kosala Hemachandra [00:08:21]:
It is definitely a good thing. I think pretty soon that I mean, I'm not trying to make anyone gets scared, but like, I think pretty soon decentralized exchanges will do higher volume than actual centralized exchanges. I think we're definitely headed that way. Only issue right now, as of right now is the scaling issue, right? Like Ethereum cannot scale as fast as a centralized exchange. So as soon as we solve that one, I'm pretty sure we are headed towards like a completely decentralized exchange process.
Bobby Ong [00:08:50]:
Yeah. I mean, if you look at Uniswap volumes, Uniswap on some days they do more volume than what Coinbase does. So I mean...
Kosala Hemachandra [00:08:56]:
Bobby Ong [00:08:57]:
And I would say that most tier one exchanges are scared, but they are sort of still are able to compete with the decentralized exchanges, but like tier two and tier three centralized exchanges, I think they must be struggling hard. I see no way how they can survive because their role has been taken over by any decentralized exchanges. And actually I was doing an interview with someone recently and I asked him, if you have a million dollars and you want to convert, like, ETH to USDT or ETH to a stable coin, USDC, for example, would you rather do it on a centralized exchange like Huobi or Binance, or would you rather just swap it on a DEX aggregator, like 1inch. I did some quick search. I could check, actually, what I found was that the dev on the decentralized exchanges was deeper than what it was on a centralized exchanges. So even for large sums like a million dollars to swap like it is actually already probably more, is probably cheaper and less slippage on DEX than on centralized exchanges.
Kosala Hemachandra [00:09:50]:
Than all the other centralized exchanges. That's actually, that's really interesting. Especially for those popular pairs, right? Like ETH to USDT, ETH to USDC, I think that's ton of volume, ton of like, you know, like people already have enough invested in it and they're willing to exchange and it goes both back and forth. So for sure like stablecoins are definitely going to take over most of these centralized exchanges coin situation, because what that really dominating right now in the space is that, that FIAT options, right? Because if the person, if someone actually wants to get their dollars out, get their like euros out, they have to use a centralized exchange or they have to use a provider that can facilitate that process. So that's where the centralized exchanges are dominating. But now that we have stablecoins inside Ethereum or inside other chains, making it less of an issue for a person to have actual physical USD. They'd rather have like USDT, which is exactly the same.
Bobby Ong [00:10:55]:
And one of the things that you mentioned earlier, which I could agree on, like that is hindering like those decentralized exchanges from taking over more market share from centralized exchanges is really the Ethereum network being congested and having high gas fee. I mean, like paying $50, $100 for a swap. I mean, it's fine if you're making a $1000, $10,000 transaction, but like it's not really feasible if you're trying to [inaudible] for example, right. So we are sort of seeing there are few ways people are trying to scale Ethereum, I mean there's Optimism. There is Arbitrum. There a bunch of different Layer 2 solution like Polygon and so on. And Ethereum is also going through Layer 1 scalability as well with ETH 2.0 and so on. So I suppose with all these changes, with Layer 2. with ETH 2.0 coming up, there must be quite some fundamental retooling of MyEtherWallet that must take place when all this thing comes about, right. So I would like to hear, what are your thoughts about Layer 2 and ETH 2.0, and how are you planning to evolve the product as this come along?
Kosala Hemachandra [00:11:54]:
Yeah, that's a great question. There are a ton of like actual Layer 2 solutions that I prefer, and we are actually in talks with some of them on integrating them to MyEtherWallet and MEW wallet and all of our other products. And even so at least like we can say, okay, POE ETH2.0, PO solution is at least, let's just say, at least a year away, right, like from now on. Because it's been already like a half a year passed since they introduced Beacon chain. So at least a year away, and then we're going towards that, and then that means like MyEtherWallet has at least one year to like figure out this tooling. And this is actually, this is pretty similar to how Ethereum mainnet was in 2015, August. There were no tools. So I personally had to code some of those tools that we used back then, because like the libraries did not exist. So MyEtherWallet definitely use that. I think that's another advantage that MyEtherWallet has, we are willing to take that next step and actually like develop these tools that are needed to make it seamless for our users.
So we are always ready to do that. And like for example, right, like we support ETH 2 staking already. And in order to support that support ETH 2 staking, you had to support ETH 2 histo files. So it's something that we work to. We actually started like coding it and then realize ChainSafe actually made a library for that. And we are still grateful, well, super thankful for ChainSafe. And we use that, but like, even if that did not exist, MyEtherWallet would have created ETH 2 histo library so that we can support ETH 2 staking. Similar to that, I think something might happen recently. I know there's a lot of opposing or like at least miners that are opposing this proposal, EIP 1559, which is basically cutting off the profit from miners right, mining pools. And, if that gets merged in, that will request some changes to basic structure of Ethereum transactions. So we have to make some changes to support that as well. And at that point, gas price will be something that users don't even have to think about because it will be automatically calculated.
And I love it because we can just take out the gas price selection from our menus. So that's one less thing user has to do when they're sending a transaction. The lesser, the better. Like the minimal amount of actions the user has to do to accomplish their task is really good. It's really well done to user experience or UI in my opinion. So that's where I want to be. And I know at the end of the day community makes the decision, right? Like miners makes the decision. And that's the beauty of this decentralized ecosystem. Because doesn't matter like Oh, Vitalik gonna stand up and be like, he's going to support EIP 1559 but that's not going to change anything. At the end of the day, it's all up to the community, it's all up to the miners to decide whether they will support it or not. And I really liked that. And based on whatever the changes that happens with Ethereum, myEtherWallet and all of MyEtherWallet products, MyEtherWallet team is ready to make the necessary changes to support that.
Bobby Ong [00:15:07]:
And what about Layer 2? Like, I mean, are you planning to support like Optimism and all the other Layer 2s or this kind of like beyond the scope of [inaudible]?
Kosala Hemachandra [00:15:15]:
So, yeah. Yeah, for sure. We are already in talks with two Layer 2 solutions and then see, like how and the best way to accomplish or like, implement that so that it will be seamless to the user. Okay. There's still like the main problem with any Layer 2 solution is that you have to lock your, whatever the tokens you want to do in a different contract. So you have to do a mainnet transaction, and then the Layer 2 will display, "Okay, you have this much". And I think there's no way to get around that, but like, we have be creative. Like the wallet services needs to be creative to support that and make it seamless to the users, so the users of properly understand what's happening.
Bobby Ong [00:15:57]:
Yeah, I I think Layer 2 market is very fragmented at this point in time. We have like five, six, 10 different Layer 2 solutions and for the average user, like this is just really confusing. It's like ETH but Layer 2 on Optimism, ETH but on Polygon. It's just really, really confusing and, I've tried locking ETH in some of these layer 2s. Every single one has its own interface. And it's just really confusing, like I just got to learn and be familiar because you don't want to screw up, right. And you only want to try like a small amount. You don't want to put like massive amount in there for the first try. Because you might make a mistake. And I don't know, like, I think what the guys at Zapper are doing is sort of like, they've integrated with Polygon. So kind of like a unified interface so like, you can kind of transfer your ETH from Layer 1 to Polygon. And then like, I suppose they can add like the other Layer 2 solutions on there, and it's all kind of a unified interface. So it's like, from a user's point of view is like, "Okay. I don't really have to worry about all the other kind of UI. I just need to be familiar with one", and that's kind of [inaudible].
Kosala Hemachandra [00:16:58]:
I definitely want to check it out. I didn't see it yet, but I will definitely check it out. But that's the main issue, right? Like, because at the end of the day, you don't know exactly, like from a user's perspective, Ethereum is already kind of complicated for a new user. And like now add all these Layer 2 solutions on top of each other, right? Like that's gets [inaudible].
Bobby Ong [00:17:21]:
Kosala Hemachandra [00:17:21]:
Mindblowing, exactly. I think that's the job of like wallet services and other dapps to make it seamless so that user understands. A user's willing to take the next step and not get confused and then stopped at step one. I think that's really important
Bobby Ong [00:17:39]:
And what do you guys think of a multi-chain world? I mean, do you also support other blockchains? I know from the start, you guys have like, you can tweak the RPC and I know you support Tomochain and few other chains, like, I suppose you support Binance Smart Chain these days as well.
Kosala Hemachandra [00:17:53]:
Yeah. So anything based on Ethereum stack, we can easily support that. Any Layer 2 solution on Ethereum stack also like, yeah. As long as they use the same RPC ecosystems. But the thing is that in order to support something like Bitcoin, right, it requires a lot of changes. Not from a backend perspective. It's not like, think about it this way. Ethereum is the first interface that actually made a reason for hardware wallets to connect to a web interface. Like basically MyEtherWallet was the first interface, so that Ledger made the necessary changes so that it can connect to a website like it added UDF connection for technical users. But that does not exist for any Bitcoin apps. Like Bitcoin hardware wallet doesn't have that support. So it's like that there's so many technical difficulties that we have to overcome, if you want to keep the same interface and add another chain on top of it. And I believe Ethereum and like all Ethereum-based chains have lot more to offer that simple value transfer, like in Bitcoin, right? Bitcoin just A to B. You send your Bitcoins to person B and then you receive and all that.
So I was thinking at some point in time, maybe like not change MyEtherWallet to support other chains, why not come up with a completely new interface that one purpose only, support like value transfer points. So I'm just like speaking out loud my thoughts here, but I think that might be a better way to answer that question than "Okay, MyEtherWallet will support Bitcoin". I think that comes with a lot more difficulties, a lot more technical difficulties and like UI difficulties. If you want to take that route and then implement that. So if anything, it'll be the other one, where it'll be a new interface that supports a value transfer points.
Bobby Ong [00:19:51]:
Do you guys plan to at some point, like launched like a browser wallet, kind of like a Chrome extension like MetaMask for example?
Kosala Hemachandra [00:19:59]:
We actually do. It's not that popular. It's called MEW CX. Well, right now it's not available because it always goes through this phishing attacks, right? Like some of the things that phishers do right now, there're like 1000, 1500 people will just go and like report spam the Chrome extension. And then Google, without knowing anything, they'll take down the extension. And now these phishers will put up a different extension with the same name. So unfortunately people do download these like fake extensions. So this happened like literally three days ago, we are trying to contact Google at this point in time. They took down MEW CX, again. It has about like 200,000 users. So it's not like a small [inaudible] extension for just the Google team. No, but this happened in the past too. And I know MetaMask went through the similar situation in the past. But it's just, it's such a bad like, way of Google handling these reports.
Bobby Ong [00:20:58]:
So it's kind of like, you a legitimate extension that hackers, the phishers coordinated spam attack on Google to have it taken down. And once it's down, they put out a fake extension with a similar name, impersonating you guys. Oh, that's super annoying.
Kosala Hemachandra [00:21:14]:
I know. Welcome to our world. This happened to MetaMask couple of times. This happened to us before as well. And then the part that really make it worse is that there's no like contacts with Google. You have to go through the regular developer contact channels to uh, let them know this is what's happening. And then they have to manually review it and be like, "Oh, that's what's happening." And then reinstate.
Bobby Ong [00:21:39]:
Yeah. I mean, it's kind of annoying dealing with big tech companies, like customer support is pretty much non-existent got, like everything just goes through that email and you pray and hope that somebody reads and understands and sees what you're trying to say.
Kosala Hemachandra [00:21:54]:
Exactly. I know it's annoying, but it's something that we have to go through.
Bobby Ong [00:21:59]:
And talking about phishing and all right, I'm sure like that's not the only story that you have. I mean, there's a lot of instances of scammers trying to impersonate MyEtherWallet. I mean, tell us some of the scariest stories that [inaudible].
Kosala Hemachandra [00:22:11]:
All the time. I mean, we have a good group right now handling all of our like phishing attacks and like take downs phish bots. I'm really impressed by the work that they do. But yeah this is something that's ongoing and it's like constantly we get notifications or there's a new domain registration similar to MyEtherWallet. At some point in time, I think there were over 3000, this is like a two years ago, domains, when I actually did some research that was similar to MyEtherWallet that got registered. Like, you know, MyEtherWallet, but with two, 'E's or like MyEtherWallet with like three 'L's like things like that. It's very similar. And then it's really hard for people to distinguish between the real MyEtherWallet and this one. But I'm really glad that we don't have to deal with that as much as we used to right now, thanks to like the amount of work phish bots is doing around this whole, like taking down phishing sites. But it's definitely something that we go through every day and it's happening every day. But I think at the same time users are way more smart, now. They actually figure out these things sooner than later, soon before they actually lose money to these users, but we still here and there get some emails saying, "Okay, like I uploaded my key here and then next thing I know my wallet is empty. So, what happened? Can send me back my funds?" Unfortunately, it's not, at the end of the day when we do some research, they did it on a phishing site.
Bobby Ong [00:23:39]:
Yeah, I mean, it's kind of annoying, all these things, right?
Kosala Hemachandra [00:23:42]:
It's so annoying. It's sad to read these emails from the customers. Unfortunately, we're doing everything that we can possibly do. And still some of these phishers figured out like loopholes to go through and especially like Telegram groups. There are ton of fake Telegram groups. And even in Twitter, like a lot of people impersonate each other. And so like, they used all these like social networks, and all they need is one user who get caught and then they make enough. So the ROI is really high for these attacks. And I think that's the main reason why they're going after it. But if we're making it harder and harder every day.
Bobby Ong [00:24:24]:
Yeah. It's the same thing. I mean, we get these things as well, but I don't know if you've seen these things, but like they have these like CoinGecko, but instead of having a normal 'I', they have the Russian 'I' with 'the slide'. Yeah. So they have, they bought a CoinGecko. I, with- there's many different I's, like ' I' with a two dots. There's all this different languages, 'I's. Yeah, unicodes. And they have all these things, so it's really hard to kind of detect all these things from like, and that they send emails out and people who are not particularly careful, they just respond to all spammers. Some of them, they don't even keep the front end. So they bought this domain, the website doesn't load, nothing shows up but they've just redirect to a site, but then they use the email attack and that's kind of really annoying.
Kosala Hemachandra [00:25:07]:
Yeah, that is sad. I mean, unfortunately, yeah, it is happening every day.
Bobby Ong [00:25:13]:
Yeah. I think all of us in the crypto space are facing this form of attack. Yeah. And do you still face issues where, I remember a few years ago, when you go and type MyEtherWallet on Google, the first result is a sponsored search, which is a phishing site, like from Google.
Kosala Hemachandra [00:25:30]:
I don't think, I mean, we haven't gotten any requests in like at least the last two years about that, something like that. So it's possible that at some point, like Google realize what's happening and then they added like a hard coded block on things like that. But no, we haven't seen that happening recently. So that's a good thing. That's a huge help.
Bobby Ong [00:25:52]:
Yeah, I mean, techies like us, we know better than to click on any of these sponsored search, but like from a retail guys, a lot of them click on the first result. And even though it's a paid result, they just click on it and like that's really, really dangerous.
Kosala Hemachandra [00:26:05]:
For sure, I totally agree with you on that.
Bobby Ong [00:26:08]:
And talking about support requests, right, I'm sure you get like tons of emails from regular users don't really understand the Ethereum network well, I mean like people getting scammed, people who put too low gas fee and then their transaction gets stuck for hours. I mean, you guys must get a lot of this support requests. How do you guys handle this thing? Do you answer all tickets or kind of like just hope by time some of them just resolve themselves?
Kosala Hemachandra [00:26:32]:
No, we hired recently, not two weeks ago, hired two more peak support people to help with the support tickets. You know, like the price went up, everyone was happy. Our tickets went up too. So we were struggling. So right now we had a team call today, right now we have 1400 tickets in our queue.
Bobby Ong [00:26:51]:
Okay. I thought, I thought I had a lot of ticket. So that sounds like you have a lot too.
Kosala Hemachandra [00:26:56]:
We have 1400 tickets on webQ and then about like, I think 900 on the mobile kit. So it's an ongoing effort and people, I mean, we sometimes have to like redirect some people, "Okay, you don't have to, you can't do what you're doing right now. Please go and help the support team and like, let's get the queue down". It's not necessarily about, because something's wrong with the site or not, we can get something. People do get like, confused on doing things. Like for example, okay, why is my transactions taking too long? So they immediately think, okay, it's because of the wallet. Wallet did get something wrong, it's not because of the gas prices. So it's just like, we just need to be able to help them out. And like, make them understand, okay, it's not that you are paying us the fee. It's the network fee that you're paying. And then that we need that, or the network need that to happen.
Otherwise the transaction will not go through or like transaction will not be mined on within like five minutes. So whatever the time you're expecting it to be mined. So I mean, things like that it's just needs, usually just like one email going the other way. It's like, they'll send us an email. We explained them. And that's the end of the story, for most of the support tickets. It's not like we get, I mean, some of those tickets are like, yeah, you had to go back and forth awhile and then some are really helpful. Like some of these people are amazingly helpful, because sometimes it's one of those edge cases, right. It could be a random token that whenever that person tried to send that token out, it failed. And we are scratching our heads trying to figure out okay, why we can send this token back and forth and why cannot this person send the token back and forth. And it sometimes turns out that, okay, they didn't wait, like whatever the freezing period that token contract has. Some token contracts are like...
Bobby Ong [00:28:42]:
Kosala Hemachandra [00:28:43]:
Oh, you can't transfer within, yeah, know. I mean the, that's not...
Bobby Ong [00:28:46]:
Everyone received that airdrop on their wallet and you can't sell that shitcoin.
Kosala Hemachandra [00:28:51]:
10 000 KickTokens. Oh my God. Yes. And there was some tokens that just did like airdrop and it was basically every single, like block, Ethereum block was filled by this token's airdrop. Like they had sent so many transactions. So every block is filled by that. And it's like, yeah, they were sending it to literally every wallet that they can possibly think of. So my phone, like the MEW wallet app on my phone, like was constantly sending me push notifications, "oh, you receive new token", "you received new token", "you received new tokens", because I'm like, wait, I did not receive any tokens. These are shit tokens, why, why is this happening? But, yeah, we went through that as well.
Bobby Ong [00:29:33]:
How big is the support team right now in MEW?
Kosala Hemachandra [00:29:35]:
Support team right now is about, I mean, if you just consider just the support team, right, like the people that we hired only to do support about six, seven.
Bobby Ong [00:29:47]:
Wow, that's huge.
Kosala Hemachandra [00:29:48]:
Yeah, but sometimes we make other people go do support as well. So sometimes it's like 10 people just doing support, but...
Bobby Ong [00:29:57]:
That's a lot of resources to dedicate for support.
Kosala Hemachandra [00:29:59]:
No, unfortunately we have, like I told you, we have 1400 tickets, like what 1400 plus, like 2,300 tickets in the queue. And then at the same time, I mean, I'm not complaining because like our visitors went to the roof over the past, like three months or so. So understandable.
Bobby Ong [00:30:19]:
How big is the entire MyEtherWallet team these days?
Kosala Hemachandra [00:30:22]:
We have about 20 full-time employees and then like, I think six to seven contractors working all across the world, basically.
Bobby Ong [00:30:33]:
Yeah. That's good to hear.
Kosala Hemachandra [00:30:35]:
Bobby Ong [00:30:36]:
And I'm just curious, right? Like most people using the desktop wallet or the mobile app wallet these days?
Kosala Hemachandra [00:30:43]:
So good questions. I think, well, when we initially made MEW wallet, the mobile app I believe that eventually whole space will go towards mobile. It's not just because, okay, like mobile is a handheld device. It's easy to do the transactions. Yeah. Those are all positive signs. But at the same time you had to think like a lot of emerging markets, right? Like a lot of developing countries. I was in Sri Lanka for like a whole year in 2020, and not everyone has a desktop. But almost everyone has a smartphone. So that's, I mean, if you are planning to get to that market, you have to have a mobile app. That said, no, it's still like web is getting way more visitors than like, at least, I don't know, like I'd say 4 to 5x? This is just than actual users MEW wallet. But MEW wallet is still new. So we are planning for the next five years. Not like, next year. You know what I mean?
Bobby Ong [00:31:42]:
Yeah. I guess, I mean, people in the developing countries will most likely just interact via the mobile app, but like heavy users, like you and me, we just still use it the desktop. They're like...
Kosala Hemachandra [00:31:54]:
Forget about it. No, mobile app, I'm going to be honest with you. I hardly use the mobile app.
Bobby Ong [00:31:57]:
Yeah, I wouldn't transact anything of value like I mean, anything less than a hundred dollars is fine but like anything more than that surely like, desktop.
Kosala Hemachandra [00:32:04]:
Desktop. Yeah, exactly. And then we are also comfortable with the desktop. I think that's another issue. So we would rather do it on a desktop than like actual mobile app.
Bobby Ong [00:32:15]:
Yeah. But it's a very different thing. Right. I mean, it's like two very, very different kinds of users.
Kosala Hemachandra [00:32:20]:
Yeah. And there are a ton of users who are just like super comfortable with mobile.
Bobby Ong [00:32:25]:
Yep. For them, that's the Internet, right? Like, everything's through like the phone. They haven't really used the desktop. Desktop is completely alien to them. Just like how people would want to use and transact on the mobile app. They probably feel the same for desktop. It feels more harder than [inaudible].
Kosala Hemachandra [00:32:41]:
Yeah. It's like Windows' users or like Linux users versus Mac users. Right. I would use Linux any day and everyday, but like, there are not that many people, like there are a ton of Mac users, so it's like, I'm not moving away from a Mac. This is it, like, I'm not comfortable using anything else.
Bobby Ong [00:33:00]:
All right, cool. So what's kind of the plan for MyEtherWallet, like in the next one, two, five years, for example?
Kosala Hemachandra [00:33:06]:
This whole space is changing constantly. So it's really hard to give like specific plans. But no, we really focus on creating the best user interface that we can offer to all the Ethereum users. So at the end of the day, we want to like, if you cannot accomplish something, whatever that means, right? Like POS, when Ethereum, ETH 2.0 comes out, like we will have ton of changes because we'll, at 64X scale, like we'll scale by 64X, than like the current capacity. And that means ton of apps, ton of dapps, who'll use that capability of Ethereum and that means we have support that MyEtherWallet has support that. So we will always be open source, trustworthy and be the nexus point of Ethereum. That's where I want to be, we want to be as the whole team in like, doesn't matter three years, four years, five years. It's just like, if you want to accomplish something in Ethereum, you can use MyEtherWallet.
Bobby Ong [00:34:08]:
That's good, man. Anything that I should ask you that I haven't really asked here yet, before we wrap this up? Or any final words, for example?
Kosala Hemachandra [00:34:15]:
No, I think you asked tons of questions. I hope I was helpful in answering them.
Bobby Ong [00:34:20]:
Cool man. Yeah. It's been a great time talking to you on this podcast today.
Kosala Hemachandra [00:34:25]:
Yeah. Super nice to talk to you as well. Thank you so much.
Bobby Ong [00:34:28]:
Thank you very much for coming on the show,
Kosala Hemachandra [00:34:29]:
Bobby Ong [00:34:31]:
All right. That wraps up the show. Thank you for listening to the CoinGecko podcast with Bobby. If you like our show and want to know more, check out podcast.coingecko.com. Or please leave us a review on iTunes. If you have any feedback, do drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Join us for more next week. See ya!
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