Software researcher finds secret crypto wallet in Microsoft Edge browser – what’s going on?
Microsoft has been quietly testing a built-in cryptocurrency wallet for its Edge browser.
According to screenshots shared by software researcher Albacore, Microsoft is experimenting with a built-in non-custodial crypto wallet that could be used for crypto payments or as a gateway to DeFi and Web3 applications.
The screenshots further show a user interface for a cryptocurrency wallet, a decentralized application explorer, a news feed, and the ability to buy cryptocurrency through Coinbase and MoonPay.
“This is a non-custodial wallet, which means you have full control over your money. We don’t want access to your password and recovery key. It’s built into Edge, making it easy to use without installing any extension, ” says Microsoft during the onboarding process.
While the wallet’s introduction pages do not indicate which cryptocurrencies are supported, one screenshot shows that users will have the option to add custom tokens manually.
The screenshots suggest that users will also be able to buy and browse NFTs across major marketplaces with the wallet. “Browse through different marketplaces to find your first NFT, as you build your collection of NFTs, we’ll organize them here,” reads the page related to NFTs.
Microsoft has not officially announced the wallet project.
The experiments with a crypto wallet come as Microsoft has been involved in the crypto space in many ways. Specifically, the tech giant has shown great interest in the metaverse.
However, Microsoft recently disbanded its Industrial Metaverse Core team, a four-month-old project aimed at encouraging the use of metaverse in industrial environments. The company also laid off employees working on the project, which amount to around 100 people.
More browsers offer crypto wallets as adoption grows
Microsoft Edge is not the first browser to include a crypto wallet. A number of other major browsers have recently added support for built-in crypto wallets as adoption grows.
Opera has supported cryptocurrency since 2018, initially adding the feature on mobile before expanding to desktop in 2019. Recently, the browser bolstered its crypto efforts by adding browser wallet support for several new blockchain networks, including Bitcoin (BTC), Solana (SOL) , Polygon (MATIC) and Ronin (RON).
Similarly, Brave has had its own crypto wallet known as Brave Wallet built into it since November 2021. The wallet supports all Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible blockchains and Ethereum Layer 2 chains with both standard ERC-20 tokens and NFTs on ERC . -721 standard.
Last January, the browser said it had passed 50 million monthly active users, with more than 8 million users actively earning rewards in the form of BAT tokens.
This puts Brave well behind Opera in terms of overall popularity, but given that the browser only launched in 2017, user growth has undeniably been strong in recent years.
Meanwhile, users of other browsers such as Mozilla, Firefox and Google Chrome can install third-party cryptocurrency wallets such as Metamask in order to use Web3 applications.