Microsoft Edge Moves Towards Web3: Crypto and NFT Wallet Integration Underway
Microsoft is allegedly working on integrating a noncustodial cryptocurrency and nonfungible token (NFT) friendly Web3 wallet into its Edge web browser. Screenshots shared on Twitter by Albacore, a pseudonymous software researcher, indicate that the wallet is already embedded in recent releases of the Microsoft Edge browser. However, it remains hidden and inaccessible to users.
The leaked screenshots show the wallet’s user interface (UI), which appears to support swapping, sending, and buying crypto assets. Crypto exchange Coinbase and Web3 infrastructure firm MoonPay are displayed as integrated platforms that enable users to purchase and deposit cryptocurrencies into their wallets. The UI also suggests support for browsing NFT marketplaces and organizing NFT collections.
According to the information provided, the wallet will be noncustodial, with Microsoft not having access to passwords and recovery keys. The wallet will also be embedded into Edge rather than being an installed browser extension.
Albacore cautions that Microsoft frequently builds and tests features that never make it to the final product. However, the researcher claims that the Edge wallet functions correctly, and a rollout could be possible.
The potential move from Microsoft seems to be an attempt to catch up with competitors like Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and specialized browsers like Opera Crypto Browser and Brave Browser. Brave, a privacy-focused browser, provides Web3 functionality and has recently expanded its self-custody wallet capabilities, enabling users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies without leaving the integrated Brave Wallet.
Microsoft has also been involved in other blockchain ventures, including leading a $20 million strategic round into Space and Time, a Web3 data warehouse, in September.
A Microsoft spokesperson stated, “At Microsoft, we regularly test new features to explore new experiences for our customers. We look forward to learning and collecting customer feedback but have nothing further to share now.”