- L Higgins and M Bacina
Microsoft surfs the Edge of innovation with in-browser digital wallet
Updated: Mar 24
Microsoft is testing a non-custodial cryptocurrency wallet within their Edge web browser, which will allow users to make cryptocurrency payments and access DeFi and Web3 applications within the Edge browser. Screenshots shared by software researcher and Twitter user Albacore show the proposed user interface for the software wallet which includes an explorer for dApps, a news feed, and the ability to buy/sell/swap tokens through Coinbase and MoonPay.
The software wallet is embedded in the Microsoft Edge web browser and is non-custodial, meaning the user has complete control of their funds (as opposed to a custodial wallet where a third-party company or service provider controls the private key to your wallet), and reducing the potential regulatory risk to Microsoft if users lose funds. It remains unclear exactly which tokens will be supported, but users will be able to manually add custom tokens as Metamask permits. The screenshots suggest that users will be able to browse and purchase NFTs across major marketplaces (e.g. Opensea) using the wallet.
Microsoft is no stranger to experimenting with crypto, having brought Bitcoin as a currency into Excel in 2021 and collaborating with ConsenSys and EY over Baseline protocol.
Other web browsers, including Opera and Brave, have added built-in crypto wallets as the adoption of blockchain and Web3 continues to grow. The move by Microsoft would represent the first of the major web browsers (i.e. Mozilla, Chrome, and Safari) to incorporate an in-built software wallet into their browser. For the time being, the software wallet remains very much in the testing phase, as Microsoft is yet to officially announce the project, but a better wallet and UX experience for crypto-assets is essential to drive greater adoption in the long term.