Brave (BAT) Looks To Rule The Web 3. Browser Roost After Mist Shuts Down Citing Security Concerns
The Mist Browser Is Shut Down Citing Security Concerns And Growth Of Other Web3 Browsers
In a sad post, “the sun setting of the Mist project”, lead developer at Ethereum Foundation, Alex Van de Sande, explained the closure of one of the earliest web3 browsers. Mist browser boasts as one of the pioneers in advancing the usability of Ethereum and providing a gateway for the numerous options of web3 browsers available today. Alex cited security vulnerabilities, reliance on the Electron platform and better browsers such as Opera, Samsung, and Brave for the imminent shutdown of the Mist browser.
Progress Of The Mist project
The Mist browser has been in existence since 2014 when the token standard came to life. The browser provided users with the first wallet to store your tokens and an easy and efficient way to create and deploy your tokens. Furthermore, the Mist browser pioneered the first GUI wallet that allowed early Ethereum users to import their presale keys, the first wallet to create a visual interface for interacting with any contract from pure ABI and a wallet that opened up building of dApps on Ethereum.
However, according to Alex’s post on Medium, the Ethereum Foundation is finding it harder and harder to keep updating and developing the Mist browser due to a stretch in resources. He wrote,
“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.”
The Sunset Of The Mist Browser
The earliest gateway wallet to the ERC 20 tokens is finally being shut down as problems regarding the security of the platform through Ethereum node syncing and reliance on the Electron network all having a role to play.
In the early years of Mist, the project allowed easy syncing of a node but soon started taking hours to complete. This caused a large migration of users from the web browser to other viable options. While this decentralization/convenience problem could be solved in the future, the security vulnerability brought about by relying on Electron.
The Electron platform offered a great framework for the desktop web applications, however, according to Sande, the platform had some deep core issues with development. Electron was not updated frequently and even when it was, it was still running several versions behind chromium, which meant that often the latest version of Mist was running an engine several months out of date. This opened up a channel for hackers to access a user’s cryptocurrency private keys and transfer the funds by simply visiting an untrusted website.
“We received bugs 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.”
Furthermore, the Mist project is far behind its competitors in the web3 development, a distance that would require massive amounts to fix. For this reason, the Mist browser will be shut down offering support to the current crop of browsers such as Samsung, Opera, and Brave.
These browsers command more resources towards development and are currently well positioned to take up the market share. Speaking on the issue, Alex said,
“Other browser developers have more resources and are closer to having web3 features natively than we were of having a secure browser framework.”
The Mist development team decided to split the browser into different components to work on as well as join other front end teams working on the Ethereum project.