A Cryptocurrency Wallet Prototype Is Found Within Microsoft Edge

The undisclosed features indicate the technology giant is contemplating a more excellent investment in Web3.

Microsoft may not be the first company that comes to mind when discussing blockchain technology. Nonetheless, the corporation has experimented with the technology for many years.

According to photos provided on Twitter by Albacore, a pseudonymous software researcher from central Europe, Microsoft has updated code to the company’s default Edge browser that would incorporate a non-custodial crypto wallet.

The pictures supplied by Albacore demonstrate a cryptocurrency wallet’s user interface, a decentralized application explorer, a news feed, and the option to purchase crypto through Coinbase and MoonPay. The feature is “already built in” to current Microsoft Edge browser versions but is concealed and inaccessible to consumers.

Albacore warns that Microsoft produces and tests things that never see the light of day. Despite this, Albacore asserts that the Edge wallet is functional.

Yorke Rhodes, Microsoft’s blockchain lead, explains to Decrypt’s Dan Roberts and Kate Irwin in our Decrypting Mainnet series at Mainnet 2022 how Microsoft tackles Web3 and started its blockchain tools with Ethereum but is now exploring alternative chains. 

Internet Explorer, Microsoft’s first web browser, was released in 1995, the same year as Opera. In contrast to Microsoft, which retired Internet Explorer in favor of Edge last year, Opera has produced several versions of its browser and integrated a crypto wallet and dapps connection into its Opera Crypto Browser.

Albacore thinks that Microsoft’s entrance into crypto wallets may be an effort to provide solutions comparable to Opera’s closest competitor, Brave Browser, a privacy-focused browser with Web3 capabilities.

In May, Brave introduced Solana blockchain support to its desktop browser. Last month, Brave increased the capabilities of its self-custody wallet, enabling users to purchase and trade cryptocurrencies without leaving the integrated Brave Wallet.

Microsoft has collaborated with others to enter this new business, including leading a $20 million strategic funding round for Space and Time, a Web3 data warehouse, in September.

Microsoft will not confirm any part of the development of its Edge cryptocurrency wallet. “At Microsoft, we constantly test new features to explore new consumer experiences,” a Microsoft representative told Decrypt via email. “We look forward to learning from our consumers and gathering their comments, but we have no additional information to provide at this time.”

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