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Opera Rolls out Update and Expansion of its Cryptocurrency-Friendly Browser Blockchain Architecture

Norwegian company Opera, the first browser to introduce Web 3 capabilities and a built-in cryptocurrency wallet across its mobile and computer browsers, is adding several new features using blockchain. The updated Opera blockchain browser does not only have a built-in crypto wallet for its Web 3 mobile and computer users, but it is also adding more features due to partnerships with Wyre and Unstoppable Domains which grease the wheels of the cryptocurrency experience on the browser. It’s also expanding the service.

Opera now supports seamless crypto top-ups within the browser in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.

Opera is teamed up with US cryptocurrency-brokerage firm Wyre to enable easy crypto-purchases directly from the browser’s crypto wallet. Opera Android users in most countries can now buy Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) using a Visa or Mastercard debit card.

Wyre’s solution on Apple devices (available in Opera Touch for iOS) works with Apple Pay, which makes it possible to top up an account in less than half a minute.  Mobile-centric Revolut bank cards will also work on Android.

“We’re excited to expand on our collaboration with Wyre and deliver a best-in-class crypto buy experience to even more countries,” added Charles Hamel.

Charles Hamel, Head of Crypto at Opera browsers, explained how these updates support Opera’s long-term vision of making blockchain technology relevant:

“Being able to acquire cryptocurrencies without having to go through an exchange, directly from the wallet makes the process easy for our users. Expanding this feature to more regions is key to driving blockchain-adoption.”

Opera has also partnered with a blockchain naming system built on Ethereum built by  Unstoppable Domains, which stores domains on a decentralized public ledger (Ethereum).  Registering .com or .org domains allows people to easily reach web addresses instead of having to type in a long IP address. And by owning a .crypto domain name, you can simplify your wallet address so you can use a short address like operafan.crypto, rather than a long set of public key numbers, making it easier to send and receive cryptocurrencies in your wallet.

Opera has built the world’s first Web 3 ready browser introduces seamless support for the decentralized web through IPFS support. IPFS is a protocol that allows one to store data on the web without having to rely on a single server or specific cloud service.

How does it work?

  • Instead of asking the network for a file using its address/location, the browser can ask the network for a file using a cryptographic hash (unique to the file).
  • IPFS then takes care of delivering the file to the browser, wherever it is stored.
  • Each network node stores only the content it is interested in, plus some indexing information which helps figure out which node is storing what. 
  • When looking up a file to view or download, one asks the network to find the nodes that are storing the content behind a given file’s name. One doesn’t, however, need to remember the hash as every file can be found by human-readable names using a decentralized naming system like Unstoppable Domains or the Ethereum Name System (ENS).

This means that files, as well as websites, can be stored in a decentralized and secure way and accessed without relying on a single server – a truly cloudless form of storage similar to BitTorrent. Opera has partnered with Protocol Labs, the main actor behind the development of the IPFS protocol, to integrate this experience into Opera for Android.

“Browsers have a critical role to play in Web 3 and we believe that integrating these new protocols into our popular browser will accelerate their adoption, ” said Charles Hamel.

This announcement is a further step in Opera’s strategy to eliminate the hurdles associated with the use of blockchain technologies.

They have a long history in exploring blockchain starting in December 2018. The Norwegian company introduced the first blockchain browser, Opera for Android, with a built-in crypto wallet and dApp explorer. Opera then added a built-in crypto wallet to its desktop browser as well as to its iOS browser, Opera Touch. It later introduced easy crypto-purchases in Scandinavia and the US and is now expanding them to more regions.

The Opera browser for Android is growing fast. In the last half of 2019, the browser increased its monthly active user base by forty per cent globally year-over-year. The Opera browser for Android has also registered more than three million reviews in Google Play with people giving it an average 4.6-star rating. 

In countries like Germany, the Opera browser for Android was recently ranked as the number one application in the social and communications apps category, according to the State of Mobile 2020 report presented by AppAnnie. 

Download Opera for Android from Google Play.

Richard Kastelein
In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, the Netherlands where he has set down his anchor to raise a family and write. Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015) and director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He has written over 2500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published in Harvard Business Review, Venturebeat, Wired, The Guardian and a number of other publications. Kastelein has an Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute software and Technology. He has over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division. Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology at over 50 events in 30+ cities.
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