Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has expanded the functionality of its Coinbase Wallet by releasing a new standalone browser extension version, the company said in a blog post on 8 November.
While Coinbase’s wallet has been available as a downloadable browser extension since May, it only allowed users to connect their wallet to the extension, which could initiate a transaction but still required a confirmation from the mobile app. The new version, however, is a standalone wallet that enables users to directly access services such as trading, dApps, and NFTs without the need of smartphones. The company said in its blog post:
“Today’s release gives the Coinbase Wallet extension full standalone functionality, unlocking the world of crypto on desktop. Now, you can browse dapps, access thousands of cryptocurrencies, trade on decentralized exchanges (DEXes), earn interest, and collect NFTs from your browser without needing to confirm transactions on your smartphone.”
With this new release, Coinbase can finally start competing with wallets such as MetaMask and other popular Ethereum-based browser extension wallets. Coinbase has also made it easy for existing wallet users to “get started with the standalone extension” by giving them the opportunity to import existing wallets through their recovery phrase’s.
The sheer number of exchange hacks and DeFi exploits over the last few years has made self-custody a hot topic within the crypto community, and has placed a new emphasis on security. With that in mind, payments firm Square revealed earlier this year it is working on a new BTC hardware wallet that will provide users with “assisted-self-custody”, which is meant to simplify the experience of managing a wallet without sacrificing its security.