Brave launches browser-native crypto wallet to combat fake extensions

Privacy-oriented browser Brave continues to deepen its commitment to crypto adoption by replacing its extension-based cryptocurrency wallet with a browser-native one.

The company announced to Cointelegraph on Tuesday that it is preparing the official launch of Brave Wallet; a self-custodial cryptocurrency wallet built into the Brave desktop browser, allowing users to store and buy cryptocurrencies such as Ether (ETH).

Brian Bondy, chief technology officer and co-founder of Brave, told Cointelegraph that new wallet replaces Brave’s MetaMask extension fork called Crypto Wallets. According to the CTO, the new implementation that was “built from scratch, natively in Brave Browser.”

The new wallet is different from other web3 wallets like MetaMask in that it does not require users to download an extension, but instead is integrated directly into the browser as a main feature. According to the firm, this is supposed to reduce security risks and dependency on additional CPU and memory.

Bondy said that the browser’s cryptocurrency wallet is similar to hardware cryptocurrency wallets in that it implements its own hierarchical deterministic wallet BIP32.

“The funds are always stored on the blockchain, but the keys to unlock those funds are stored in Brave Wallet”said Bondy. He added that the user’s private keys always remain on the hardware devices if the user chooses to connect a hardware wallet from vendors like Ledger or Trezor.

According to Bondy, the industry’s reliance on crypto wallets in the form of browser extensions is one of the main impediments to the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies due to their limited security.

“One of the biggest problems with extensions is how easy it is for criminals to create fake extensions pretending to be a good wallet extension; these phishing attacks are quite common “said the CTO. Bondy cited examples such as fake MetaMask extensions aimed at stealing cryptocurrencies from users, noting that these also “tend to accumulate a number of code dependencies” that can potentially lead to unresolved security audit errors over time. and I add:

“Extensions cannot paint on the ‘full canvas’ of the browser user interface, especially the address bar or toolbar which cannot be hidden. Brave Wallet can make full use of this interface area to help protect users from being misled. “

Brave Wallet allows users to transact on “almost any crypto asset”, supporting all the chains compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine or EVM, including Polygon, xDai, Avalanche and others.. Support for Bitcoin (BTC) is under development and will arrive at a later date, Bondy said. As the company plans to expand its browser with more blockchains, Brave Wallet will also integrate the Solana blockchain in 2022.

In addition to supporting DApp interactions, Brave Wallet also allows users to send and receive non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, based on EVM-compliant blockchains. The wallet also allows users to buy cryptocurrencies with many fiat currencies, including the US dollar or the euro, through the Wyre crypto-to-fiat money service.

Brave Wallet is free and immediately available on the desktop, while its mobile app will integrate the wallet at a later date.. To get started with Brave Wallet, users need to download the Brave browser and update it to the latest version 1.32. The new wallet is different from Brave Rewards, which rewards Brave users with Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) for viewing privacy-protecting ads.

Brave Browser is the brainchild of JavaScript creator and Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich, who co-founded the Brave Software startup with Bondy in 2015. In June 2017, Brave raised $ 35 million in 30 seconds during its initial BAT coin offering.

The cryptocurrency-compatible browser has become extremely popular in recent years, with monthly active users increasing from 25 million in February to more than 42 million in November 2021.

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