Opera Launches Cryptocurrency Wallet

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Opera is a popular, albeit not a very mainstream web browser. It gained its popularity by pioneering features like pop-up blocking, browser tabs, re-opening closed pages, and private browsing. It also incorporated a virtual private network (VPN) into the browser a couple of years ago. The main features that Opera’s 322 million users seem to value relate to privacy and security. It comes as no surprise, then, that Opera would eventually move into the blockchain space. Now it has just announced that it will be launching a cryptocurrency wallet as a new browser feature.

A crypto-wallet in your web browser

Previously, cryptocurrency holders had to install an extension to their web browser in order to use their wallet online. This is something Opera aims to do away with this hassle by integrating the cryptocurrency wallet directly into the browser. Opera has previously integrated other apps, such as Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp, into the browser. This was well-received by their users, which is why Opera has decided to take this next step. The company aims to play an important part in making cryptocurrency payments mainstream. Spokespeople have said that Opera aims to be at the forefront of innovations, and this latest addition to the browser is sure to put the browser head and shoulders above its competition.

How users can access their wallets

Cryptocurrency wallets in Opera have already been rolled out on the mobile Android version of the browser this July. Currently, the cryptocurrency wallet add-on will only be extended to PC desktop users. As with the Android version of the wallet, the PC desktop version will be secured by what Opera calls ‘user-control’. This means that any keys and p[asswords are stored on the phone itself, rather than on a centralized server controlled by Opera. Given that the Android phone browser will synchronize with the PC desktop browser, the PC version will also be using the same system as the phone version. In order to access the cryptocurrency wallet, users can also use their fingerprints if their phone has this capability. To access the desktop version of the wallet, users simply scan a QR code with their phone just like when they use the desktop version of Whatsapp.

Limited support - for now

The latest add-on from Opera will not be rolled out to all devices. It is currently only available to Android and Windows users, which means that all the Mac people will have to exercise some patience. Furthermore, the wallet will only support Ethereum at the time being. ETH, ERC-20 tokens and ERC-721 collectibles will be covered by the Opera wallet. However, the team has expressed a desire to expand the utility of the wallet by including more cryptocurrency tokens in the future. Another great addition to the browser was the inclusion of an anti-cryptojacking software earlier this year. Not only will Opera users enjoy privacy and security, but now also cryptocurrency payments.

What do you think will happen to other web browsers? Will Safari, Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Tor, and all the others follow suit? What more would you like to see Opera add? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

I’m a freelance writer and full-time curious person. My main interests are philosophy, politics, art, culture, science, and how they’re all interlinked. When I’m not writing, I’m fronting a band, producing records, and making videos. I’m also currently working on launching a YouTube channel that will focus on culture and politics. I think blockchain technology is fascinating because of the huge potential it has to revolutionise not only the financial sector, but society as a whole.