Top 10 Best Browser Crypto Wallets

By June 23, 2022The Sandbox
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Dear Bankless Nation,

A lot of us remember the days when we didn’t have much choice when it came to crypto wallets.

Now, we’re flooded with options.

It’s just another sign of the BUIDL mentality of Web3: Don’t like what you’ve got? Think you can do better? Okay, Build it!

Browser wallets are a core element of the crypto experience. They represent most users’ first forays beyond a centralized exchange.

We’ve seen wallet UI come a long away and a lot of it has been led by the big brains at Metamask.

But they got a lot of competition these days.

William Peaster tried out 10 different browser-based crypto wallets, and he’s got some things to say.

Has Metamask been unseated as the King of Browser Wallets?! Read to find out…

— Bankless

When the cat is away, the mouse will play. As Ryan’s on vacation this week, David gets to have all the fun. Case in point: Uniswap’s Hayden Adams joined State of the Nation this week, and he had some big alpha to share.

We’ll give you a hint: ���

Graphic credit: Logan Craig

Writer Wednesday // William M. Peaster, Bankless contributor and Metaversal writer

First things first: Browser wallets are crypto wallets that are designed to be used via your web browser.

For most of us, we see the phrase ‘browser wallet’ and we think of browser extension projects like MetaMask, which people can download directly into browsers such as Chrome, Brave, and so forth.

But there’s a lot more in play here. Beyond wallet extensions, there are a variety of browser-centric services that fall under the “browser wallet” umbrella.

So which one provides the most value? To answer that, I reviewed 10 different browser wallet projects across four different wallet styles. They are:

  • MetaMask

  • Coinbase Wallet

  • GameStop Wallet

  • Rabby

  • Math Wallet

  • Brave

  • Opera

  • WalletConnect

  • Portis

  • Frame

Today, we’ll go over the pros and cons of each of these wallets, and answer the burning question: “Which is the best overall browser wallet available today?”

Website: metamask.io

�️ Supported browsers: Chrome, Brave, Firefox, Edge

⛓️ Supported chains: All Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) blockchains

The MetaMask extension is the most widely supported browser wallet in the crypto-economy, and has become a standard among all decentralized applications (dapps).

  • Easy to download and use

  • Explains the wallet recovery phrase + storage backup process well

  • Simple to import existing accounts or create new ones

  • Compatible with the Ledger, Trezor, and GridPlus hardware wallets

  • In-wallet crypto swap system

  • Can’t retrieve lost accounts like smart contract wallets can

  • MetaMask is so popular that its users are often targeted by phishers on social media

Website: coinbase.com/wallet

�️ Supported browsers: Chrome

⛓️ Supported chains: All Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) blockchains

Crypto exchange giant Coinbase spun out its Coinbase Wallet browser extension in November 2021. Since then, Coinbase has worked quickly to make Coinbase Wallet a viable challenger to MetaMask. It’s gaining fast, but the wallet remains in MetaMask’s shadow for now.

  • Self-custodial

  • Easy to download and start using

  • Easy to load wallet via Coinbase Pay

  • Offers a series of default networks, e.g. Ethereum, Arbitrum, BNB Chain, plus the ability to add custom networks

  • Offers an auto-lock timer

  • Offers a “Sign Out” functionality

  • Supports non-EVM cryptocurrencies (BTC, BCH, DOGE, LTC, SOL, SPL tokens, XLM, and XRP)

  • Doesn’t emphasize recovery phrase + storage backup process enough

  • Not ubiquitously supported like MetaMask

  • Can’t retrieve lost accounts like smart contract wallets can

  • No in-wallet token swaps

  • No direct hardware wallet support for now

Website: wallet.gamestop.com

�️ Supported browsers: Chrome

⛓️ Supported chains: Ethereum, Loopring L2

GameStop is the largest video game retailer in the world. In recent months, the company’s web3 team has been building out the GameStop Wallet in anticipation of future forays into the crypto-economy. The wallet is notable for offering direct support for the Loopring zk-rollup L2.

  • Self-custodial

  • Easy to download

  • Clear on the risks of self-custody

  • Carefully explains the recovery phrase process

  • Offers L2 support via Loopring

  • Offers an in-wallet swap system

  • Offers direct support for hardware wallets

  • Lacks widespread direct dapp support

  • Can’t retrieve lost accounts like smart contract wallets

  • Only supports two chains currently

Website: rabby.io

�️ Supported browsers: Chrome, Brave ⁠— Firefox & Edge support coming soon

⛓️ Supported chains: +30, including EVM mainstays like Ethereum, Polygon, and Optimism, plus some non-EVM chains.

Created by the DeBank team, Rabby is a browser extension wallet that emphasizes multi-chain support, clear transaction signing experiences, pre-transaction risk-scanning, and more.

  • Self-custodial

  • Easy to download

  • Open-source so anyone can inspect and build upon

  • Extensive hardware wallet + institutional wallet + mobile wallet support

  • Carefully explains the seed phrase process

  • Offers in-wallet widget system

  • A Security Approvals system is emphasized in the UI

  • UI is a little confusing

  • Lacks widespread direct dapp support

  • Can’t retrieve lost accounts like smart contract wallets can

Website: mathwallet.org

�️ Supported browsers: Chrome, Brave, and Edge

⛓️ Supported chains: A handful of EVM chains plus Bitcoin, Kusama, Solana, TRON, and more

Math Wallet is a browser extension crypto wallet that supports over 100 different blockchains. However, the project is relatively confusing to use compared to other popular contemporary crypto wallet solutions.

  • Self-custodial

  • Easy to download

  • Supports an extensive range of chains

  • The wallet creation process and wallet UI felt unintuitive

  • Lacks widespread dapp support

  • Can’t retrieve lost accounts like smart contract wallets can

  • Didn’t emphasize the risks and importance of the recovery phrase process

Website: brave.com/wallet

�️ Supported browsers: Brave

⛓️ Supported chains: Supports EVM chains, thus ETH, ERC20s, and beyond, plus Solana and SPL tokens

In November 2021, crypto-friendly browser Brave rolled out an in-built crypto wallet dubbed Brave Wallet. The app lets you interact with Web3 directly from your browser experience, offering a glimpse into what the future of the internet will be like. It currently supports all EVM-based chains and Solana.

  • Self-custodial

  • Easy to download

  • Offers an in-wallet swap system

  • Compatible with Ramp and Wyre

  • Lacks widespread direct dapp support

  • Can’t retrieve lost accounts like smart contract wallets can

Website: opera.com/crypto/next

�️ Supported browsers: Opera

⛓️ Supported chains: Ethereum, BNB Chain, Polygon, and Bitcoin (plus some testnets)

In January 2022, Opera launched a dedicated crypto browser that bore an built-in wallet system. The browser also has direct integrations with Discord and Telegram, giving it a strong crypto-native feel.

  • Self-custodial

  • Easy to download

  • Offers an in-wallet swap system

  • Lacks widespread direct dapp support

  • Lacks support for many blockchains

  • Can’t retrieve lost accounts like smart contract wallets can

Website: walletconnect.com

�️ Supported browsers: Any

⛓️ Supported chains: Any

Per its website, WalletConnect is an “open-source protocol for connecting dapps to mobile wallets with QR code scanning or deep linking.” For example, Rainbow wallet is a popular Ethereum wallet that doesn’t have a browser extension yet.

WalletConnect makes it easy for mobile Rainbow users (and beyond) to tap into any dapp via any browser.

  • A meta-wallet that supports all wallets

  • Easy to use

  • Works across browsers

  • Open-source

  • I did not find any considerable issues with WalletConnect currently.

Website: wallet.portis.io/login

�️ Supported browsers: Any

⛓️ Supported chains: Ethereum, Bitcoin, Gnosis Chain, Polygon, EOS

Portis offers a “simple in-browser email/password login method” for dapps that is intuitive and familiar for mainstream users.

  • Works across browsers

  • In-wallet backup feature

  • The wallet UI was a little confusing (imo)

  • Lacks widespread direct dapp support

  • Lacks support for many blockchains

Website: frame.sh

�️ Supported systems: Linux, MacOS, and Windows, with Chrome and Firefox extensions

⛓️ Supported chains: All Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) blockchains

Frame is a desktop wallet that offers a Frame Companion browser extension. The connector “injects a connection to Frame (a native Ethereum wallet on your desktop) into browser-based apps that do not know how to connect to Frame directly.”

  • Works across dapps

  • Privacy-focused

  • Some of my peers really enjoy the project

  • Courtesy of a constant stream of error prompts, I had trouble getting the Frame desktop + extension combo to work on my new computer, so it was difficult for me to directly explore the project

After reviewing the 10 browser wallets listed above, I currently think WalletConnect (9.2/10) is the best overall product as it’s an excellent “meta-wallet” in that it lets you connect wherever you want, however you want.

Running closely behind in second place is MetaMask (9/10), which has set the standard in the crypto-economy for direct wallet connections in general, and will likely continue to do so.

Here are the rankings, in order and by category:

Browser extensions

  • MetaMask — 9/10

  • Coinbase Wallet — 8/10

  • GameStop Wallet — 7/10

  • Rabby — 7/10

  • Math Wallet — 5.5/10

Browsers with built-in wallets

  • Brave — 8/10

  • Opera — 7/10

“Any browser” wallet services

  • WalletConnect — 9.2/10

  • Portis — 6.5/10

Browser-compatible desktop wallets

  • Frame — 5.5/10

Expect the browser wallet sector to grow considerably in the years ahead as more projects rush into the fold.

We already know that Ledger, Rainbow, and Argent are pivoting toward their own respective native browser wallets, and these efforts are likely just the tip of the iceberg going forward.

  • � Check out the top crypto browser wallets

William M. Peaster is a professional writer and creator of Metaversal—a new Bankless newsletter focused on the emergence of NFTs in the cryptoeconomy. He’s also recently been contributing content to Bankless, JPG, and beyond!

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Not financial or tax advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This newsletter is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.

Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Additionally, the Bankless writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here.

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