With the rise of cryptocurrencies and the increasing number of people investing in them, having a reliable and secure way to manage digital assets has become more important than ever. This is where browser-based cryptocurrency wallets come in, as they provide users with a convenient and accessible way to store, manage and use their digital currencies. Recently, Microsoft has been reported to be testing a built-in cryptocurrency wallet for its Edge browser, adding to the growing list of web browsers with built-in cryptocurrency support.
Screenshots from a beta build of Microsoft’s Edge browser show that the company appears to be testing a built-in cryptocurrency wallet.
The screenshots, found by Twitter user @thebookisclosed, show that the wallet is “embedded in Edge” and supports multiple types of cryptocurrency, while also offering an “explore” tab with relevant news stories and an “assets” tab for storing NFTs.
The wallet is reportedly “non-custodial,” meaning users have sole ownership and responsibility for the passwords and recovery keys that grant access to funds. However, whether users find these features useful or a potential hazard in a world full of cryptocurrency scams remains a matter of perspective.
Since its rebranding as a Chromium-based browser, Microsoft Edge has incorporated numerous shopping-related features, such as the “buy now, pay later” short-term financing option that drew criticism in 2021. Although these features can be turned off, Edge is an integral part of every Windows 10 and Windows 11 PC, making Microsoft’s decisions particularly significant.
Despite Microsoft’s move to test a built-in cryptocurrency wallet for Edge, there is no guarantee that the feature will be released to Edge users, as the company regularly tests features that do not end up in the general-release versions of its software.
However, Microsoft’s history of testing non-browser-related features in Edge has raised concerns before, as once in Edge, as the browser pushes users to use Bing and other Microsoft services.
According to the statistics of Feb 2023, Google Chrome is the most popular web browser globally, commanding a market share of 65.74 percent. This means that over six in ten internet users browse the internet through Chrome. Apple’s Safari comes in second place with a market share of 18.86 percent, trailing behind by 46.88 percentage points. Microsoft Edge and Mozilla’s Firefox hold the third and fourth positions with market shares of 4.27 percent and 2.92 percent, respectively.
As Microsoft Edge continues to play catch-up with its competitors, the built-in crypto wallet feature could be the browser’s potential saving grace. With the rise of cryptocurrencies and the increasing demand for an integrated digital wallet, Microsoft’s move to incorporate this feature could be the missing link that will entice users to switch over to Edge. This could be a crucial revival strategy for the browser that lost out to popular rivals like Google Chrome.
Overall, the crypto wallet feature could provide users with a “trustworthy” built-in option that doesn’t require installing third-party extensions, but it could also encourage casual users to enter the world of cryptocurrency, which is rife with scams. It remains to be seen whether Microsoft will release the feature to the public.