Microsoft Edge, the web browser developed by Microsoft, is reportedly testing a built-in cryptocurrency wallet that would allow users to send and receive cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum and NFTs, without needing any additional extensions. The wallet is being developed as a non-custodial solution, which means users would have complete control over their funds. This feature is currently being tested in a limited capacity.
Understanding Non-Custodial Wallets
For those who are unfamiliar, non-custodial wallets provide users with complete control over their cryptocurrency funds. This means that users own and control the information required to access their funds, and the wallet provider has no control over the assets. Wallets act as a medium for users to interact with their cryptocurrencies while still maintaining control over their private and public keys. Cryptocurrencies are stored on a decentralized public ledger or blockchain, rather than within the wallet itself.
Edge’s Experimental Features
According to a report by BleepingComputer, a researcher named “Albacore” discovered this experimental feature within the Edge browser. Screenshots shared by the researcher show a user interface for a cryptocurrency wallet, a decentralized app explorer, a news feed, and the ability to buy cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum through Coinbase or MoonPay. However, this feature has not been deployed for Insiders, and it is only available to Microsoft Edge Dev Channel users as part of a very limited testing phase.
Generating a Password and Recovery Phrase
During the sign-up process, testers are prompted to generate a password to secure their assets and a 12-word recovery phrase to retrieve their cryptocurrency wallet in case they forget the password. Once the onboarding process is complete, the wallet generates an Ethereum address, enabling users to receive funds via the Ethereum network.
Microsoft’s move to integrate a cryptocurrency wallet directly into the Edge browser may simplify the use of cryptocurrencies for many users. However, it’s worth noting that the cryptocurrency market is still highly volatile and vulnerable to security breaches, as evidenced by the recent 184 million euros heist. It remains to be seen when this feature will be made available to the public, but it will be interesting to see if other web browsers follow suit in integrating cryptocurrency wallets into their platforms.