Not too long ago, we discussed a lot of Ethereum wallets people can use to store their coins in a safe and secure manner. One of the wallets on that list is the official Mist wallet for Ethereum, which has undergone some big changes over the past few months. Now is a good time to look at what this wallet looks like and whether or not it is suited for most people.
From a security point of view, it makes a lot of sense to download the Mist wallet. It is the official Ethereum wallet client developed by the same people who are responsible for moving the Ethereum ecosystem along. Unlike some other solutions, this is not a third-party wallet. Instead, Mist is designed to put the user in full control of their funds at all times, which is nice to see.
Moreover, the Mist wallet supports two types of “wallet solutions,” which is quite interesting. On the one hand, Ethereum users can set up a simple wallet, which does everything you would expect. The Mist wallet has a very nice user interface, which makes it quite easy and appealing to use. Do keep in mind this is a desktop client, which means users need to download it onto their computer manually. Mist also provides users with a multisignature wallet, should they require the extra security at any given time.
As beautiful and convenient as the Mist wallet may sound, it is not without (significant) drawbacks, though. Mist is not a lightweight client by any means. This means users are forced to download the entire Ethereum blockchain before they can use the wallet. Right now, that blockchain is quite large, and it may even grow to 1 terabyte in size over the next year or so. Ethereum users need a lot of free hard drive space to synchronize with the blockchain, that much is certain.
Speaking of blockchain synchronization, the process can be quite frustrating for a lot of novice users. If you are lucky, the sync will occur automatically, but that is rarely the case. It is certainly possible Mist will get stuck at some point, which means synchronization can take as much as several days to complete. That is not something most people will look forward to by any means. This problem is not native to just Ethereum, though, but it is something to take into account.
A lot of comments about the Mist wallet are not all that positive either. Some people claim to lose money while using the app, even though this is mainly due to their Mist client not syncing with the blockchain right away. it is important to keep in mind this is not a loss of funds, but merely being unable to see the transaction on the client until the blockchain has been downloaded properly. Once this process is completed, these issues are usually sorted out rather quickly.
It is evident the Mist wallet is the go-to solution for both novice and experienced Ethereum users. It takes a while to get the initial sync underway, but the same applies to using a Bitcoin wallet for the very first time as well. Other than that, Mist is a powerful and convenient Ethereum wallet solution, which is well worth considering. That is, if you have enough hard drive space to get the whole blockchain onto it.