Opera was founded in 1996 and today provides browsers and AI-powered content delivery solutions to more than 320 million people around the world.
The company is now officially entering the crypto world with a new crypto wallet with Ethereum integrations built into their existing browser.
ConsenSys Media recently interviewed Opera Crypto product manager Charles Hamel and discussed their entry into the crypto ecosystem.
Opera’s Crypto Debut
The Opera browser now comes with an Ethereum-integrated native crypto wallet, providing a new way for users to store cryptocurrencies.
The native wallet comes with a one-touch process for sending and receiving cryptos instantly.
It also opens up the new world of web3 to the Opera browser users by enabling them to explore decentralized applications.
As it is built into the browser, it removes the need to install separate crypto wallet plugins or extensions.
Opera is pioneering web3 for mainstream browsers, and Hamel thinks that it is an exciting thing for developers who can move away from APIs to smart contracts.
In the interview he said:
“Web3 is a new trust layer that enables people to identify themselves in an independent way, facilitates payments and value transfer between people, and allows for new applications that have not been native to the web.”
However, he also thinks that problems with overall accessibility-like design and usability are barriers to the mainstream adoption of web3.
With Opera, dApps can be automatically detected, ERC20 tokens can be found, and a user’s digital collectibles can also be accessed.
Additionally, Opera allows the use of an Android phone’s biometric lock to sign transactions instead of depending on PIN codes and passwords.
He also noted that Opera’s crypto product helps users in overcoming the mental load of using new tech.
People are already familiar with Opera and browsers, so they can use the native wallet application without too much additional work and gain access to the new web.
Opera’s Focus on Android, Ethereum and Emerging Markets
Opera’s crypto offerings have been made available on Android phones because Android holds a more dominant position than any other mobile operating system in many regions.
Halem also said that it is easier to build alternative browsers for Android because of iOS’ inclination towards Safari. However, they will target the iOS platform at some point.
Opera choose the Ethereum blockchain because of the developer community’s tooling and because the blockchain already has utility in open finance.
Halem said that Ethereum is also the best platform for smart contracts, making it Opera’s first choice for crypto integration.
Opera is partnering with Infura and Airswap- both ConsenSys companies to bridge web2 with web3.
Halem added that Opera has the potential to have more impact on emerging markets where established systems may not exist.
Cryptocurrencies can offer quicker and flexible solutions for value transfer and sovereign identification in these markets.