Web browser Opera announced today at a blockchain event in London of its newly launched browser with built-in cryptocurrency wallet on its Android app, this makes Opera the first mainstream browser that comes with cryptocurrency and blockchain features.
The new Opera with Crypto Wallet for Android’s user interface is designed to be simpler than most current crypto wallets. And Opera relies on the Android operating system’s secure system lock to sign transactions from the Crypto Wallet, so users don’t need to create new PIN codes or passwords to start using the wallet.
Users can use the cryptocurrency wallet by first downloading Opera on Android (it’s not available on iOS) and then purchasing some ether tokens to store inside. From there, users can access a selection of mini apps inside the browser.
“Having a Crypto Wallet in the browser brings the cash experience to the world of online payments,” said Charles Hamel, Product Lead of Opera Crypto. “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 beta version of the app only currently supports ETH, ERC-20 tokens and ERC-721 collectibles (which it automatically presents to the user). However, the developers plan to add support for additional cryptocurrencies in the future after just testing the waters now and seeing how the community reacts. Opera’s Crypto Wallet also comes with built-in support for the Ethereum Web3 API, which the Norwegian browser maker hopes will incentivize the creation of decentralized apps (dapps) to manage their digital identity, and make transactions.
“We believe the web of today will be the interface to the decentralized web of tomorrow,” added Hamel.“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.”
The good thing is that most cryptocurrencies out there are running on Ethereum. Opera says it is looking into adding support for cryptocurrencies based on other protocols, but is not ready to commit to any announcements just yet.
This new tech got us thinking how secure is this new browser.
Fortunately, Opera has taken every measure to ensure the safety of its app.
“Security has been a focus for the team since the inception of this product,” Hamel added. “We decided early-on to use Android’s secure key storage (with hardware support) and protect the keys to the wallet using the user’s device lock screen.”
“This has two benefits,” Hamel continued. “First of all, the user doesn’t need to create a new PIN code to remember and secondly, we get the maximum security possible offered by the Android OS.”
The blockchain-focused Opera browser is already available to download for free. Head to the Play Store here to check it out.