The rumor mill is abuzz with news that Microsoft is throwing its hat in the crypto ring, reportedly working on a noncustodial crypto and NFT-friendly Web3 wallet that will be embedded into its Edge web browser.
Microsoft is quietly testing a built-in crypto wallet for its Edge browser. Although the firm has not officially announced the wallet project, the wallet’s introductory pages hint at a “foray into cryptocurrency and NFTs.”
There’s no indication of which cryptocurrencies are supported. However leaked screenshots suggest that at the very least, Ethereum, DAI, USDC, and USDT are supported, with the option for users to add custom tokens.
The wallet also appears to have trading integration with Coinbase and Moonpay, support for other extension wallets through its settings panel, and an “explore” tab that features crypto news stories from around the web.
Software occasional info leaker and documenter Albacore, spilled the beans in a March 13 tweet with a series of supposed Edge user interface screenshots showing the early stages of Microsoft’s new Web3 wallet.
Albacore noted that this was just the latest in a “gauntlet of questionable upcoming Microsoft Edge features,” and expressed skepticism about having a crypto wallet baked into the default browser.
The wallet will be noncustodial, according to the screenshots, which means that Microsoft won’t have access to passwords and recovery keys. And instead of being an installed browser extension, the wallet will be embedded directly into Edge.
The wallet will apparently let users swap, send, and buy crypto assets, with popular exchange Coinbase and Web3 infrastructure firm MoonPay as integrated platforms to help users purchase and deposit crypto to their wallets.
The UI also stated that users can “browse different marketplaces to find your first NFT, as you build your collection of NFTs, we’ll organize them here.”
This is all just speculation based on supposed UI screenshots, but if true, it could be a major boost for Edge, which has traditionally lagged behind Chrome and Safari in terms of popularity.
Microsoft has been working hard to ramp up the offerings and capabilities of Edge, recently announcing the integration of artificial intelligence-powered search engines and chat via OpenAI’s ChatGPT as part of new upgrades to its Bing search engine and Edge browser.