Kostyantyn Kryvopust: Software researcher finds secret crypto-wallet in Microsoft Edge browser

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Microsoft is quietly testing a built-in non-storage cryptocurrency wallet for its Edge browser.

According to screenshots published by software researcher Albacore, Microsoft is experimenting with an embedded non-storage crypto wallet that can be used for crypto payments or as a gateway to DeFi and Web3 applications.

The screenshots also show the user interface for the cryptocurrency wallet: a decentralized app explorer, a news feed, and the ability to buy cryptocurrency through Coinbase and MoonPay.

“It’s a custody-free wallet, meaning you’re in full control of your funds. We will not have access to your password and recovery key. It’s built into Edge, making it easy to use without installing any extensions,” says Microsoft.

While the wallet’s introductory pages don’t specify which cryptocurrencies are supported, one screenshot shows that users will have the option to manually add their own tokens.

The screenshots show that users will also be able to buy and view NFTs on major markets using the wallet. “Browse the various trading platforms to find your first NFT, as you build your NFT collection we’ll organize them here,” reads the NFT-related page.

Microsoft has not officially announced the wallet project.

Experiments with a crypto-wallet have come about as Microsoft has been involved in the crypto space in various ways. In particular, the tech giant has shown great interest in the metaverse.

However, Microsoft recently spun off its Industrial Metaverse Core team, a four-month project aimed at encouraging the use of the metaverse in industrial environments. The company also dismissed employees who worked on the project, which is about 100 people.

As the number of users grows, more and more browsers offer crypto wallets

Microsoft Edge is not the first web browser to include a crypto wallet. Several other major web browsers have recently added support for built-in crypto wallets as adoption grows.

Opera has supported cryptocurrency since 2018, first adding the feature to mobile and then expanding to desktop in 2019. Recently, the browser increased its cryptocurrency push by adding wallet support for several new blockchain networks, including Bitcoin (BTC), Solana (SOL), Polygon (MATIC), and Ronin (RON).

Likewise, since November 2021, Brave has had its own crypto wallet built into it, known as Brave Wallet. The wallet supports all compatible Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) blockchains and Ethereum Layer 2 chains with standard ERC-20 and NFT tokens on ERC. -721 standard.

Last January, the browser said it had surpassed 50 million monthly active users, with more than 8 million users actively receiving rewards in the form of BAT tokens.

This puts Brave well behind Opera in terms of overall popularity, but considering the browser only launched in 2017, user growth has certainly been strong in recent years.

At the same time, users of other browsers such as Mozilla, Firefox and Google Chrome can install third-party cryptocurrency wallets such as Metamask to be able to use Web3 applications.

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