Big News! Crypto currencies come into the browser!
“We believe that today’s network will be the interface for tomorrow’s decentralized network.”
Opera has announced a standard installed crypto-wallet for the next version of its browser. Initially, Ethereum and Dapps are supported. Opera thus goes far beyond what its competitor Brave offers. This could be a huge step towards making crypto currencies a natural part of the Internet.
For crypto-optimists, perhaps the greatest news of 2018 could be read on Opera’s blog on July 11. The publishers of the large browser have announced the introduction of a “Crypto Wallet”.
The new version of the Opera browser, currently available as a private beta for Android, combines an easy-to-use crypto-wallet with support for distributed applications, Dapps for Ethereum for short. This means users can now interact with Web 3.0 directly through our popular and feature-rich Opera browser. This makes Opera the first large browser to have an integrated crypto-wallet. Needless to say, but we’re pretty excited about it.
So are we. It was only a matter of time before a browser integrated crypto currencies by default, but it’s still a very big, long overdue step to get cryptocoins out of the nerd niche and into the normal internet used by the whole world. It is comparable with a bank including crypto currencies in its bank account.
That it is Opera, which is the first big browser to go this way, is only surprising at second glance. Opera is now clearly overshadowed by Firefox, Safari and especially Chrome, but is still used by about 3.5 percent of all users. Originally developed by a Norwegian company and now sold to a Chinese consortium, the browser has stood out in recent months with several innovative steps: from integrating BitTorrent links, Whatsapp and the Facebook Messenger, to implementing its own free VPN and protecting websites from illegally digging crypto currencies in the browser. The standard integration of crypto currencies is only consistent.
Also, the fact that Opera does not support Bitcoin at first, but Ethereum is surprising only at second glance. No blockchain offers such a large, only partially exhausted range of functions as Ethereum; in addition to payments with Ether, the Wallet can playfully integrate hundreds of tokens and currencies based on Ethereum in the browser. The wallet can also be used to dock to Dapps such as CryptoKitties or decentralized exchanges, enabling Opera not only to send and receive money, but also direct access to the Web 3.0 envisaged by Ethereum.
“We believe,” writes Charles Hammel on Opera’s blog, “that today’s network will be the interface for tomorrow’s decentralized network. That’s why we decided to close the gap with our browser. We think that our browser with a built-in crypto-wallet has the potential to renew and expand its important role as a tool for obtaining information, sending transactions online and managing the user’s identity in a way that gives them more control”.
Ethereum was chosen because, according to Hammel, “it has the largest community of developers that forms Dapps and has formed a strong movement behind it. Opera’s Crypto-Wallet supports the Web3 API, which can ensure a smooth interaction of the user with Dapps. For the future, however, there are plans to add additional crypto currencies to the wallet, while support for additional Ethereum tokens such as the collective token will be set up with ERC721.
The original post about the Crypto-Wallet has been deleted from Opera’s blog, but is still available in the Google cache and as a press release. I don’t know why. The reports I’ve read haven’t tested the browser, I guess because you need a Google account and an invitation for the test. At least for me, the page where you can download the private beta doesn’t lead anywhere, even though you have a Google Account. Overall, therefore, the information situation is anything but satisfactory. But you can assume that Opera has spent a lot of time developing the wallet and will bring it into the next version of the browser despite possible problems.
The importance of this message cannot be overestimated. A web browser is the primary and often the only way for people to access the Internet. A crypto-wallet included as standard will make crypto currencies part of the Internet more than anything else.
With this announcement, Opera is competing with the browser Brave, which is considered to be the most crypto-friendly browser to date. Brave had initially integrated a Bitcoin Wallet in the browser, but tilted it in favor of its own BAT token based on Ethereum. With the current version you can only pay in BAT, spend it for publishers or – possibly – take it. The last point is not yet quite clear to me. In any case, the BAT token was helpful for Brave’s financial affairs, but rather a step backwards for the integration of crypto currencies. The full Ethereum and Web3 wallet promised by Opera therefore goes far beyond that.
We are curious if the big browsers Firefox and Chrome would follow the example of Opera and Brave.