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Mist, Ethereum Browser Which Pioneered ERC20, GUI Wallet, dApps Discontinued—Brave to Carry Torch?

Mist, Ethereum Browser Which Pioneered ERC20, GUI Wallet, dApps Discontinued—Brave to Carry Torch?

The Ethereum browser Mist, which pioneered dApp integration, cryptocurrency GUI wallets, and the ERC20 token standard was discontinued. The browser was discontinued due to mounting security challenges and the proliferation of solid alternatives such as Brave, Opera, and Coinbase Wallet mobile, according to the announcement.

In a Mar. 22nd post from Mist team member and UI designer Alexandre Van de Sande, the formerly popular Ethereum browser and wallet Mist—funded by the Ethereum Foundation and described as the “tool of choice to browse and use dApps”—is now discontinued.

“We faced some extreme security challenges that forced us to reevaluate our whole roadmap and question if keeping the project alive would be a good use of the Ethereum Foundation resources,” according to Sande.

In response to these security challenges, the Mist team has decided to dismantle the browser and take its valuable components and integrate them into other Ethereum projects.

Why Mist was Discontinued

For a time, Mist was one of the most cutting-edge browsers in the blockchain space, boasting the wallet that launched the first “token standard,” with Fabian Vogelsteller, author of the ERC20 paper, as a lead developer at Mist. The software also featured the first GUI wallet that enabled users to interact with ether and import presale keys—at a time when interacting with the Ethereum blockchain was still done via command line.

Unfortunately, the browser was plagued by security problems which revolved around Ethereum node syncing (which went from taking minutes to hours because of transaction throughput constraints) and Electron, an open-source software framework maintained by GitHub.

Van de Sande stated.

“…in late last year we received notice of a few very serious bugs: ones that would allow an attacker to take control of your computer (and your crypto keys) by simply visiting an untrusted website [because of Electron]. This is very bad.”

Although the group has explored alternatives, the resources needed to maintain a safe browser were larger than what the Mist team could support. Consequently, the Mist browser will be discontinued and will no longer have active development support. One of the reasons, Sande cited, was the growth of other excellent web3-focused organizations:

“The message of how crypto can make a better web has reached so far that now great names like Samsung, Opera and Brave are all focused on integrating web3 features on their roadmap.”

Sande went on to iterate that those other browsers have more resources and are closer to delivering these features:

“Other browser developers have more resources and are closer to having web3 features natively, than we were of having a secure browser framework.”

Meanwhile, the Mist team will continue working together and will transition to helping improve the user experience and front-end of other teams in the Ethereum Foundation. From this point onwards, it seems that Brave and Opera will carry the web3 torch.

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Mitchell Moos
Author

Mitchell Moos

Contributing Analyst @ CryptoSlate

Mitchell is a software enthusiast and entrepreneur. His first startup built algorithms for optimizing cryptocurrency mining. Prior to CryptoSlate, Mitchell was a project manager at a firm that built distributed software on Hyperledger. In his spare time he loves playing chess and hiking.

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