Popular browser Opera has launched its blockchain-oriented browser which has been specially designed to enable users to surf and interact with the decentralized web which is regarded as Web 3.0.
The company made this announcement at the recently concluded Hard Fork Decentralized in London. The browser will come with a built-in cryptocurrency wallet and has been made available for Android users. This latest development meant that Opera is the first mainstream browser to launch a browser that has cryptocurrency and blockchain features. Opera has inserted several features into this browser as it enables users to interact with decentralized apps (dApps). Users will also have the opportunity to manage their digital identity and conduct transactions using this browser.
Opera executive VP Krystian Kolondra commenting on this latest development stated that “Our hope is that this step will accelerate the transition of cryptocurrencies from speculation and investment to being used for actual payments and transactions in our users’ daily lives.”
What does Opera’s crypto-browser entail?
The company announced back in July that it was working on the Android version of the app, and it was set to come with an in-built wallet. Opera later revealed that it will also incorporate a synchronization feature that will enable users to access the wallet using their desktop browsers.
The browser was launched for beta testing in September, with Opera working on polishing the app since then. It is still unclear when the official release date will be but the company has already released the beta version of the desktop app.
At the moment, the android opera browser will only support the Ethereum network, and the same applies to the built-in cryptocurrency wallet. This presents a challenge as users can only store Ethereum and ERC20 tokens and will have to find other alternatives if they are to store Bitcoin or other altcoins. Nevertheless, it is considered positive as a large percentage of altcoins are ERC20 tokens. Opera has assured its users that it is working on adding support for other cryptocurrencies though it has yet to make any commitment to that yet.
Decentralized apps use
Opera is looking to stimulate the growth of the dApp sector with the incorporation of dApps. Accessing dApps on the Ethereum network has been a challenge for cryptocurrency users but Opera is looking to change that and make them easily accessible. Hamel stated that “One major hurdle in all this is that you need a special browser or special browser extensions even to start exploring the decentralized web and even then, users are faced with lots of new terminologies that is sometimes confusing. That’s why made our browser super user-friendly.”
He further explained that “Using a Web 3.0 application is now just as easy as going to a website like Google or Facebook with Opera. This is a lot easier and faster than what has been available until now.”
Challenges on the way
One thing that can be admitted is that even though the crypto and blockchain sector is fun, it is by no means easy. Opera which has been one of the leading browsers over the past two decades admitted that building software for the blockchain space is certainly not an easy task.
Another challenge that Opera faced was seamlessly integrating the wallet into the browser. The company had to make it look like an actual feature instead of just another app in the browser.
Besides that, Opera had to tackle security questions. Researchers have conducted a series of research over the past few months and revealed that smartphones are a very decent source of storing cryptocurrencies and would be preferable over desktop wallets. Following that, Opera has worked towards ensuring that the in-built wallet is secure.
Opera looking to further explore the blockchain space
The company has stated that it will continue to explore the blockchain space as they look to challenge the other leading browsers in the market. Hamel during his interview stated that “We believe all browsers will eventually integrate some kind of wallet, which will enable new business models to emerge on the web. We are very happy with the version we are launching today, which greatly simplifies onboarding and makes Web 3.0 just as easy to use as the current web we’re used to.”
Opera venturing into the crypto and blockchain space has been greeted with general admiration. Joseph Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum and venture studio ConsenSys while commenting on this stated that “It’s a significant step for one of the world’s leading browsers to add an Ethereum-based [cryptocurrency] wallet and dApp explorer, and speaks to Opera’s innovative roots and commitment to embracing next-generation technology. We see this as an important moment in improving dApp accessibility, opening Web 3.0 to mainstream audiences, and encouraging developers to build on Ethereum.”
The company is now committed to polishing its Web 3.0-inspired features and venturing further into the cryptocurrency world.