Opera Software is launching a new version of its Android browser Opera with a built-in cryptocurrency wallet. Initially this wallet only supports Ethereum. The company sees this as an expansion in the area of so-called Web3, the term used for any internet technology involving blockchain and decentralization.
Opera considers this move a next step towards mainstream adoption. Integration of a wallet into their software should make it easier for people to jump in. Currently multiple apps need to be downloaded, and with Opera’s browser only one app is needed.
“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,” said Krystian Kolondra, Executive Vice President of Browsers at Opera Software.
Google Chrome and Firefox already allow users to interact with blockchain technology. But these browsers require a third-party add-on, like Metamask. Opera’s advantage is that their wallet is already build into the software.
For Ethereum is could also be a big stepping stone. Co-founder Joseph Lubin, also founder of ConsenSys, called it a ‘monumental move’. “We see this as an important moment in improving dapp accessibility, opening Web3 to mainstream audiences, and encouraging developers to build on Ethereum,” Lubin said.
However, Opera Software’s browser is not a major player among browsers. According to statistics from research firm Statista, Opera holds a 4.57% market share across platforms worldwide. With 55.94% Google Chrome is the undisputed market leader, while Safari follows with 18.6%.
Worldwide an estimated 2.5 billion consumers have smartphone in 2018. Which means 114.25 million people are using Opera as their browser. Opera Software is expected to add the integrated wallet to their desktop browser as well, which would help their cause to lead the wave on cryptocurrency adoption.
Opera Software might be the first established now to integrate blockchain technology into their browser, yet they are not the first. Brave Browser is build from the ground up with the blockchain mind. It’s a browser that’s completely focused on privacy, and it has its own currency called Basic Attention Token (BAT). Brave Browser has already been downloaded 10 million times on Android. Brave reported 4 million active users in September. It’s clearly taken the world by storm.
Also published on Medium.