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Brave introduces crypto wallets for browsers to combat fake extensions

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Brian Bondi, chief technology officer and co-founder of Brave recently introduced crypto wallet a replacement of Brave's MetaMask.

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The privacy-oriented browser Brave further deepens its commitment to the introduction of cryptocurrencies and replaces its expanded cryptocurrency-based portfolio with the browser's native one. The company said on Tuesday that it is preparing for the official launch of Brave Wallet, a self-service cryptocurrency portfolio built into the Brave desktop browser that allows users to store cryptocurrencies such as Ether (ETH) and to purchase.

Brian Bondi, chief technology officer and co-founder of Brave, said that the new portfolio will replace Brave's MetaMask expansion plug called Crypto Wallets. According to the CEO, the new implementation will be "built from scratch, initially in Brave Browser". The new wallet differs from other Web 3.0 wallets such as MetaMask in that user don't need to download an extension, instead it is integrated directly into the browser itself as the main function. According to the company, this is meant to reduce security risks and reliance on additional processors and memory.

Bondi said the browser cryptocurrency wallet is similar to a hardware crypto wallet in that it implements its own hierarchical BIP32 deterministic wallet. “Funds are always stored on the blockchain, but the key to unlocking those funds is stored in Brave Wallet,” Bondi said. He added that the user's private key will always be on the hardware if the user chooses to install a hardware wallet from a provider like Ledger or Trezor. According to Bondi, the industry's reliance on crypto wallets in the form of browser extensions is one of the main barriers to mass adoption of crypto due to its limited security.

“One of the biggest problems with extensions is how easy it is for criminals to create fake extensions pretending to be good portfolio extensions – spoofing attacks like that are pretty common,” said the training director. Bondi cites examples such as fake MetaMask extensions aimed at stealing cryptocurrency from users, noting that they also "accumulated a number of code dependencies" that could potentially lead to unresolved security audit bugs from time to time, adding:

Extensions can't paint a "full canvas" of the browser's user interface, especially the address bar or toolbar, which can't be faked. Brave Wallet can take full advantage of this area of the user interface to keep users safe from fraud. Brave Wallet allows users to transact with “almost any crypto asset” and supports any Ethereum Virtual Machine or EVM compatible chain including Polygon, xDai, Avalanche and others. Support for Bitcoin (BTC) is under development and will come at a later date, Bondi said. As the company plans to add more blockchains to its browser, Brave Wallet will also integrate the Solana blockchain in 2022.

Brave Wallet not only supports DApp interaction, but also allows users to send and receive irreplaceable tokens or NFTs based on an EVM compatible blockchain. The wallet also allows users to purchase cryptocurrencies with multiple fiat currencies, including US dollars or euros, through Wyre's crypto fiat service. Brave Wallet is free and immediately available on the desktop, while the mobile app integrates the wallet at a later date. To start Brave Wallet, users need to download the Brave browser and update to the latest version 1.32. The new wallet differs from Brave Rewards, a recording feature that rewards Brave users with Basic Attention Marks (BAT) for viewing privacy-protected ads.

Brave Browser is the brainchild of JavaScript inventor and Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich, who co-founded Brave Software with Bondy in 2015. In June 2017, Brave raised $35 million in 30 seconds when it first launched. Crypto-friendly browsers have become very popular in recent years, with monthly active users increasing from 25 million in February to over 42 million in November 2021.

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