HomeCryptoEthereumMicrosoft may integrate an Ethereum wallet into its browser

Microsoft may integrate an Ethereum wallet into its browser

A few days ago, screenshots surfaced on Twitter that appear to refer to an Ethereum wallet for Edge, Microsoft browser.

It appears from the screenshots that this is supposed to be a non-custodial Ethereum wallet, but for now there is no official confirmation.

The speculation is that the company is testing this new feature, namely the possible integration of an Ethereum wallet within its Edge browser.

Is Microsoft Edge about to integrate an Ethereum wallet?

Edge is Microsoft browser that replaced the historic Internet Explorer as of 2015.

Indeed, Internet Explorer, born in the very distant 1995, was finally abandoned this year, overtaken by more advanced alternatives such as Google’s Chrome, Apple’s Safari, or Mozilla’s Firefox.

As of today, with Internet Explorer still being used by 0.25% of web users, Edge has surpassed 4%, so it is among the little-used browsers although it is more widely used than Firefox. But Safari stands out with 19% and especially Chrome with almost 66%.

Moreover, lately these percentages appear to be fairly stable, so much so that the use of Microsoft browser does not appear to be increasing significantly in recent times.

At one time, Internet Explorer dominated, and a decade or so ago it was still used by more than 30% of web users.

Thus it has been a real decline for Microsoft, from a dominant position to a totally marginal one in the space of some twenty years, with the new Edge failing to even remotely take the place of the old Explorer.

However, it is worth pointing out that there has been a boom in smartphone browsing over the past two decades, and with Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS dominating the smartphone world, it is more than logical that the respective browsers have also taken over.

It is therefore not surprising that Microsoft is trying to evolve its new browser, for example by doing something that neither Chrome nor Safari have already done natively: integrate a crypto wallet.

The other browsers compared

There are actually two other browsers, Opera and Brave, that have already integrated a crypto wallet natively, but they are used very little, less than Edge.

In addition, there are third-party crypto wallets that can be easily integrated into Chrome, such as MetaMask, so Microsoft’s is not much of a novelty.

Therefore, this is not an attempt to challenge other browsers on the cryptocurrency terrain, but probably just an attempt to keep Edge up-to-date with new technologies.

Crypto and Ethereum ecosystem: the importance of Microsoft initiative

Despite the fact that there is still no official confirmation that Microsoft is really integrating an Ethereum wallet on Edge, the fact that it apparently stands the concrete technical feasibility may be something important.

According to screenshots posted on Twitter, the initiative would be related to Web3 and NFTs, and not so much to cryptocurrencies, and this actually could make sense.

A company like Microsoft has already approached the world of NFTs years ago, and since it is very much in the gaming business, it inevitably has to deal with these new technologies.

An eventual integration of an Ethereum wallet into Edge could have positive repercussions for the crypto markets.

In fact, it would be for all intents and purposes a kind of endorsement of the US giant toward the entire crypto sector, and not just the NFT sector.

In fact, it is worth mentioning that to send NFTs on Ethereum one has to pay fees in ETH, so if that wallet is integrated it will inevitably lead to an increase in cryptocurrency usage.

Moreover, it also appears from the published screenshots that the wallet integrated into Microsoft Edge would also in turn have integration with Coinbase to enable cryptocurrency buying and selling and swaps.

While the actual use of this wallet might be marginal, given the low usage of Edge in the world, it could, nonetheless, lead the way for possible similar initiatives by Google and Apple.

It is worth not forgetting that with Xbox, Microsoft is one of the world leaders in online gaming, so an eventual integration with one of its crypto wallets within the browser could easily convince Google to do the same with Chrome.

Google has also been in this industry for some time, and should crypto wallets integrated into the browser be successful, it is to be expected that some initiative of its own in this regard will be forthcoming.

Browser-integrated crypto wallets

Browser-integrated crypto wallets have a huge advantage: they allow direct and immediate interaction with websites.

For example, they allow in-browser crypto payments, but also logins without passwords or digital signatures.

The more widespread the use of cryptocurrencies and NFTs becomes, the more users will feel the need to have a crypto wallet integrated within the browser.

Then again, the resounding success of MetaMask, which was born only in 2016, shows how much need there already is for such technology. It is enough to mention that by the end of 2021 MetaMask already had more than 21 million monthly active users.

Considering that a crypto wallet can be a profit-making service, especially through fees or spreads on trades and swaps, it is hard to imagine that Google and Apple will pass up this opportunity.

Especially should Microsoft seize the opportunity, not least because no one prohibits Microsoft from creating its own Chrome extension that integrates its crypto wallet within Google’s browser.

Microsoft other integrations

Recently, another major integration made by Microsoft has caused a lot of buzz.

After buying the company behind ChatGPT, Microsoft integrated the now-famous AI-based chat within its Bing search engine.

Nowadays the search engine market is dominated by Google, with 93% of searches, but in second place is Bing itself with just under 3%.

The integration of ChatGPT has brought a lot of interest in Bing, although so far it does not seem to have succeeded at all in undermining the almost absolute dominance of Google.

Nonetheless, this shows that Microsoft has by no means given up on competing with Google, and Apple, although so far none of its initiatives have produced big results in this respect. In terms of browsers and search engines Microsoft is still clearly behind Apple, but especially Google.

It could move forward with cryptocurrencies and NFTs thanks to a native Ethereum wallet that its two main competitors do not have.

Moreover, theoretically speaking, the native crypto wallet could also turn a profit, so Microsoft could benefit twofold.

It is worth noting that in the stock market Microsoft still capitalizes more than Alphabet (formerly Google), and slightly less than Apple.

Indeed, the company is still a leader not only in gaming, but also in office software (thanks to Microsoft Office, which is now pay-for-use), and in some industrial and professional areas, such as with its Azure cloud.

It is still a real giant with very few equals, even though it has long since lost its leadership in the web sector. Thus a public endorsement of Ethereum by it might be of significant importance to this network.

Ethereum Merge, common creative license


Marco Cavicchioli
Marco Cavicchioli
Born in 1975, Marco has been the first to talk about Bitcoin on YouTube in Italy. He founded ilBitcoin.news and the Facebook group" Bitcoin Italia (open and without scam) ".