Microsoft Edge's Built-In Crypto Wallet: A Step Forward or a Questionable Use of Resources?

Russell Kidson
Mar 22, 2023
Updated • Mar 22, 2023

According to sources familiar with Microsoft's plans, the technology company is reportedly developing a cryptocurrency wallet for its Edge browser, despite the challenges currently facing the cryptocurrency markets. The Verge reported that Microsoft has been conducting internal tests on the built-in crypto wallet for Edge in recent months, with intentions of releasing it to the general public in due course. This upcoming addition to the already feature-rich Edge browser demonstrates Microsoft's ongoing commitment to enhancing its users' online experiences.

Recently, Twitter user Albacore leaked screenshots of the crypto wallet, showcasing its functionalities. Microsoft has stated that the wallet will offer 'simplified experiences' that facilitate seamless interaction with Web3, as well as 'integrated security features' designed to protect users from potentially unsafe apps or addresses.

The release of the Edge browser's built-in crypto wallet to Microsoft employees has been met with controversy, as some employees view the development as a poor use of company resources. One source even referred to it as a 'bad look' for the company, particularly in light of the recent layoffs of numerous Edge team members who were working on more essential features.

Nevertheless, the upcoming crypto wallet will provide users with the ability to purchase cryptocurrency directly from Coinbase and MoonPay, among other features. This includes the ability to connect decentralized apps to the wallet and the support of storing and collecting non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Such capabilities are part of Microsoft's ongoing efforts to stay ahead of the competition in the ever-evolving world of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

Coincidentally, the introduction of the Edge crypto wallet occurs soon after Microsoft's recent implementation of a prominent Bing button in the browser, intended to redirect users to its search engine. Notably, the button cannot be easily removed, raising concerns about Microsoft's intentions of driving more traffic to its search engine. In addition to this, the technology giant has received criticism for incorporating 'buy now, pay later' financing options into the Edge browser, as well as using aggressive prompts to prevent users from switching to Google Chrome as their primary browser. 

Microsoft has also been scrutinized for the way in which Windows 11 made it challenging for users to change their default browser. These developments have sparked concern about Microsoft's commitment to user privacy and transparency, and have furthered speculation about its intentions to leverage its market power to gain a competitive edge.

While Microsoft has recently addressed concerns regarding default app settings in Windows 11, its addition of increasingly numerous features to the Edge browser has led to criticism that the browser is becoming excessively bloated with functionality that many may not find useful. It is unfortunate, as Microsoft Edge is actually a well-designed and capable browser that could stand out in the crowded browser market. However, the addition of features that may not appeal to a majority of users may ultimately detract from its overall quality and user experience. Microsoft may need to strike a balance between providing users with innovative features while also keeping the browser streamlined and efficient.

Edge isn’t alone

The recent announcement that Microsoft is adding a built-in crypto wallet to its Edge browser has drawn attention to the company's efforts to keep pace with other browsers like Brave, which already includes a similar feature. However, Microsoft is also taking the integration a step further by adding the crypto wallet to its search engine, Bing, mirroring the functionality offered by Brave's search engine, Brave Search. 

Brave's crypto wallet also integrates with its Basic Attention Token (BAT) system, which is a unique advertising platform that allows users to earn BAT tokens for viewing advertisements. These tokens can then be used to support content creators or be exchanged for other cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies. This system creates a new, more decentralized model for online advertising, where users are incentivized to view ads and content creators are rewarded for their work.

Furthermore, Brave's commitment to privacy and security is evident in its implementation of the crypto wallet, as it utilizes strong encryption and user-controlled keys to protect users' assets. This level of security is a critical component of Brave's mission to create a more private and secure web browsing experience, which is a key factor in its growing popularity among users who value privacy and security.

Staying ahead of the curve

This move by Microsoft indicates its recognition of the growing importance of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, and the role they play in the future of the internet. By providing users with an integrated crypto wallet, Microsoft is positioning itself as a leader in the space, and is giving its users access to a secure and convenient way to manage their digital assets. 

It remains to be seen how this move will impact the market, but it is clear that Microsoft is serious about staying ahead of the curve when it comes to cutting-edge web features.


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  1. John said on March 23, 2023 at 12:51 am

    At least for myself, I want less stuff baked into a browser. I already think Edge has added way too much to the browser and even if you can disable these features, they are still part of the browser.
    Why are many of these features offered as a add in extension instead of built into the browser??

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