Brave Browser Launches Built-In Crypto Wallet

The crypto-centric browser company is angling to capture some of MetaMask’s market share.

Nov 16, 2021 at 4:59 p.m. UTC
Updated Nov 16, 2021 at 5:07 p.m. UTC

Brave browser now has a built-in crypto wallet.

Included in a Tuesday update, the native wallet deepens Brave’s foray into crypto self-custody after years of relegating that to third-party wallet extensions like MetaMask. CoinDesk tested a beta version of the wallet on Sunday night.

Brave Wallet allows for token purchases through Wyre, tracks portfolio performance, swaps a wide range of tokens and stores non-fungible tokens (NFT). It is self-custody, meaning wallet users hold their private keys. It supports all Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible tokens, Brave said.

Adding a native wallet is an obvious play for crypto-conscious Brave Software, Inc., which says it has 42 million monthly active users. The browser markets itself to crypto users and companies – the homepage links to four exchanges – and its signature BAT token rewards program splits a fraction of digital advertising revenue with users.

Hosting a trade function opens new revenue streams for Brave. It plans to take 0.875% of all token swaps initiated through the wallet interface, matching MetaMask’s swap fee, a spokesperson told CoinDesk.

An open-source offshoot of Google’s Chromium, Brave is treating its new wallet with the same “open web” zeal. A press release said Brave Wallet carries an open MPL license. Effectively, that means developers can view the wallet’s source code and iterate on it.

Open-sourcing places Brave Wallet at odds with a soon-to-be competitor: the Solana ecosystem’s Phantom wallet. That top project – it services the vast majority of Solana network coins – keeps its code under wraps. Brave plans to add Solana support in early 2022.

Until then, the wallet is limiting itself to Ethereum layer 2 companion systems and EVM-compatible chains like Binance Smart Chain, Avalanche and others.

DISCLOSURE

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Danny is CoinDesk's deputy business editor. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.