Tech 12 July 2018Erik Gibbs
Opera launches web browser with integrated crypto wallet
A new web browser looks to simplify the user experience when conducting cryptocurrency transactions online. The popular web browser Opera has released a new version for Android devices that incorporates a cryptocurrency wallet directly into the browser. The result is a seamless connection between web browsing and wallet management so that users don’t need to rely on separate applications or extensions that are often targeted by hackers and malware creators.
The new interface, Opera with Crypto Wallet, was designed with simplicity in mind. It uses Android’s secure system lock for transactions, meaning users are not required to create a separate PIN code or password to use the wallet.
According to Charles Hamel, product lead at Opera Crypto, “Having a Crypto Wallet in the browser brings the cash experience to the world of online payments. Paying with the Crypto Wallet is like sending digital cash straight from your phone, and we’ve just made it easier. This opens up new possibilities for merchants and content creators alike.”
The platform is currently in beta testing, and all users are able to download and use the browser. However, the beta version only supports Ethereum, ETC-20 tokens and ERC-721 collectibles. Support for other cryptocurrencies will be added in the future once the platform is tested successfully and bugs are worked out.
The browser also supports Web 3.0, a decentralized Internet built on the Ethereum blockchain that allows users to connect to a number of decentralized application (Dapp) and peer-to-peer networks. Through a simple interface designed around “existing browser wallets/dapp browsers…with a default WebView,” Opera hopes to decrease “the entry barrier to Web 3.0 for users,” while providing a new, easy-to-use method for anyone interested exploring the crypto and Dapp ecosystems.
Hamel explained Web 3.0, saying, “We believe the web of today will be the interface to the decentralized web of tomorrow. By becoming the first major browser to open up to Web 3.0, we would like to contribute to making the internet of the future more accessible. Our hope is that this will accelerate the transition of cryptocurrencies from speculation and investment to being used for actual payments and transactions in our users’ daily lives.”
While Opera may not be the most popular web browser on the market—it only controls about 4.55% of mobile users around the world—the introduction of a web browser with built-in cryptocurrency wallet capabilities is a significant advance to help extend mainstream integration of digital currencies to a larger segment of the population. It is probably only a matter of time before other web browsers start providing a similar offering.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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