Microsoft, a technology giant that has experimented with blockchain technology for years, may be integrating a non-custodial cryptocurrency wallet into its Edge browser, according to screenshots shared on Twitter by Albacore, a pseudonymous software researcher from central Europe. The screenshots 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. While the enhancement is “already baked in” to recent releases of the Microsoft Edge browser, it is currently hidden and not accessible to users.
Newest in the gauntlet of questionable upcoming Microsoft Edge features, a crypto wallet 💸
Not really sure how to feel about this kind of thing being baked into the default browser, what are your thoughts?
More screenshots of the UI in the next tweet ➡️ pic.twitter.com/GAUPiZGLIY
— Albacore (@thebookisclosed) March 17, 2023
Albacore cautions that Microsoft tests many things that never see the light of day, saying that the Edge team is known for “throwing every imaginable thing at the wall and seeing if it sticks.” However, Albacore notes that the Edge wallet functions correctly, leading to speculation that a rollout may not be out of the question.
Microsoft’s first web browser, Internet Explorer, launched in 1995, but the company discontinued it last year in favor of Edge. While Microsoft has experimented with blockchain technology for years, Albacore believes that Microsoft’s move into crypto wallets may be an attempt to offer similar products to Brave Browser, a privacy-focused browser that also provides Web3 functionality.
Brave added support for the Solana blockchain in its desktop browser in May and recently expanded the functionality of its self-custody wallet, allowing users to buy and sell cryptocurrency without leaving the integrated Brave Wallet.
Microsoft has also worked with others to move into this emerging industry, leading a $20 million strategic round into Space and Time, a Web3 data warehouse, in September. However, Microsoft has not confirmed any aspect of its Edge crypto wallet development, saying only that the company regularly tests new features to explore new experiences for its customers.
As with any new development in the crypto and blockchain space, it remains to be seen whether Microsoft’s integration of a crypto wallet into its Edge browser will be successful or not. However, given Microsoft’s long history of innovation and experimentation with new technologies, it will be interesting to see how this development unfolds in the coming months.