Microsoft has been quietly testing a built-in non-custodial 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 can be used for crypto payments or as a gateway to DeFi and Web3 applications.
The screenshots further depict 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, meaning you are in complete control of your funds. We will not have access to your password and recovery key. It is embedded in Edge, making it easy to use without installing any extension,” Microsoft says during the onboarding process.
While the wallet’s introductory pages do not indicate which cryptocurrencies are supported, one screenshot shows that users will have the option to manually add custom tokens.
The screenshots suggest users would also be able to buy and browse NFTs across major marketplaces with the wallet. “Browse different marketplaces to find your first NFT, as you build your collection of NFTs, we’ll organize them here,” the page related to NFTs reads.
Microsoft has not officially announced the wallet project.
The experiments with a crypto wallet come as Microsoft has been involved with the crypto space in numerous ways. Specifically, the tech giant has shown great interest in the metaverse.
However, Microsoft has recently discontinued its Industrial Metaverse Core team, a four-month-old project aimed to encourage the use of the metaverse in industrial environments. The company also laid off employees working on the project, which amounts to about 100 people.
More Browsers Offer Crypto Wallets as Adoption Grows
Microsoft Edge is not the first web browser to include a crypto wallet. A number of other major web browsers have recently added support for built-in crypto wallets as adoption grows.
Opera has been supporting cryptocurrency since 2018, initially adding the feature on mobile before extending it to the desktop in 2019. More recently, the browser strengthened its push into crypto by adding browser wallet support for multiple new blockchain networks, including Bitcoin (BTC), Solana (SOL), Polygon (MATIC), and Ronin (RON).
Similarly, Brave has had its own crypto wallet known as the 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 the ERC-721 standard.
In January last year, 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 like Mozilla, Firefox, and Google Chrome can install third-party cryptocurrency wallets such as Metamask to be able to use Web3 applications.
software researcher Albacore discovered a secret crypto wallet in the Microsoft Edge browser. The wallet is not yet available to users, but it is built into the latest versions of the Edge browser.
The wallet is non-custodial, meaning that users have full control over their private keys. This means that Microsoft does not have access to users’ funds, and users are responsible for their own security.
The wallet supports a variety of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Solana. It also supports NFTs.
It is not clear why Microsoft is developing a crypto wallet. However, it is possible that the company is planning to integrate cryptocurrency payments into the Edge browser. It is also possible that Microsoft is simply testing the technology.
The discovery of the secret crypto wallet has been met with mixed reactions. Some people are excited about the prospect of using cryptocurrency in the Edge browser. Others are concerned about the security of the wallet and the potential for fraud.
Only time will tell whether Microsoft will release the crypto wallet to the public. However, the discovery of the wallet suggests that Microsoft is taking cryptocurrency seriously.
Here are some of the possible reasons why Microsoft is developing a crypto wallet:
- To allow users to make cryptocurrency payments in the Edge browser.
- To test the technology and learn more about cryptocurrency.
- To position Microsoft as a leader in the Web3 space.
It is also possible that Microsoft is developing the wallet for other reasons, such as to support decentralized applications (dApps) or to provide a way for users to store NFTs.
Only time will tell what Microsoft’s plans are for the crypto wallet. However, the discovery of the wallet suggests that Microsoft is taking cryptocurrency seriously and is considering how to integrate it into its products and services.