A fake version of popular wallet for cryptocurrency Ethereum, MyEtherWallet, is currently being sold in Apple’s App Store.Â
The app is created by a developer called Nam Le, with no ties to the makers of the original MyEtherWallet, which currently exists only as a browser app.Â
On Sunday, MyEtherWallet confirmed on Twitter that they’re not the makers of the app. TechCrunch first reported the news on Monday.Â
The tweet also notes that MEW (commonly used acronym for MyEtherWallet) is “Foss4lyfe,” implying the company does not endorse profiting from free and open-source software (FOSS). MyEtherWallet is free to use, while the fake MyEtherWallet is being sold for $4.99.
A wallet is a key element of most cryptocurrencies. It’s a piece of software that lets you store, receive, and send your cryptocoins, and it’s very important that it comes from a trusted entity.
It’s unclear whether the fake MEW app is an actual Ethereum wallet that’s trying to bring in some traffic from the MEW name, or something far more nefarious. At worst, it could be stealing users’ private keys and their money, and using it in any way is definitely not recommended.Â
A fake MEW wallet on Apple’s App Store is a big deal. Good cryptocurrency wallets for iOS are few and far between, and MEW is one of the most popular wallets around; an inexperienced cryptocurrency user could easily install it thinking it’s the real thing.Â
Scams in the world of cryptocurrencies are common. In fact, just visiting MEW’s home page will launch a detailed tutorial on how to make sure you’re actually visiting the real MEW and not a rogue website. A site called etherscamdb.info keeps a record of known cryptocurrency scams, and many of the sites listed pretend to be MEW.Â
Mashable has contacted Apple for comment on this story and we’ll update it when we hear back.Â