The Chromium-based Edge browser started out as an elegant and fast alternative to Google Chrome, but Microsoft has added unnecessary features over time. One feature reportedly in development could be the worst example yet: a crypto-currency wallet.
Twitter user Albacore, who has a history of enabling and documenting features in development in Windows and Microsoft apps before they are announced, shared screenshots of a crypto-currency wallet in development for Microsoft Edge.
Newest in the gauntlet of questionable upcoming Microsoft Edge features, a crypto wallet 💸— Albacore (@thebookisclosed) March 17, 2023
Not really sure how to feel about this kind of thing being baked into the default browser, what are your thoughts?
More screenshots of the UI in the next tweet ➡️ pic.twitter.com/GAUPiZGLIY
The feature bills itself as having “built-in security features to protect you from insecure addresses or apps” and “streamlined experiences that make Web3 easier to use.”
Microsoft Edge helps you set up a secure password for your crypto-currency wallet and, once you’re done, you can send and receive crypto-currencies. The supported crypto-currencies are not clearly defined, but Coinbase and MoonPay are listed as options for buying and depositing crypto-currencies, and crypto-currencies like Ethereum and Dai Stablecoin are visible in the screenshots.
Microsoft Edge would not be the first web browser to implement crypto-currency related features. Opera has been moving towards crypto-currency features over the past few years, even going so far as to create a dedicated crypto-currency browser, Opera Crypto Browser. The dedicated app has a built-in crypto wallet, support for DApps (web applications that integrate with blockchains in some way) and the ability to create NFT.
A rather strange decision
It’s strange to see Microsoft (supposedly) working on a crypto-currency wallet for Edge, especially after the media coverage and attention around crypto-currencies has evaporated over the past year. The crypto-currency ecosystem is still reeling from the collapse of exchanges like FTX and BlockFi, and AI has largely replaced crypto-currencies as the current tech trend, with the popularity of services like ChatGPT and Bing Conversation.
Meta, owner of Facebook and Instagram, recently abandoned its NFT and crypto-currency wallet efforts as the company shifts its focus to AI research.
Microsoft may not deliver the crypto-currency wallet to Edge users, as the company regularly tests features in Edge, Windows and its other software that never make it into general releases.