Opera introduces smartphone browser with built-in crypto wallet

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Everything in tech these days seems to be looking a reason to prefix or suffix crypto onto their latest offering.

Norwegian company Opera is no different, and today announced a new version of its smartphone browser that touts a Ethereum-based crypto wallet.

Naturally it’s called Opera Crypto, and the browser has launched a private beta today for select users to give it a go. It’s an Android-specific application, and those interested in trying it can sign up here.

As for why Opera are venturing into the world of cryptocurrencies, Charles Hamel, product lead on Opera Crypto, explain that it merges the cash and online payments into one experience.

“Having a Crypto Wallet in the browser brings the cash experience to the world of online payments… Paying with the Crypto Wallet is like sending digital cash straight from your phone, and we’ve just made it easier,” noted Hamel in a press release about the announcement.

The software powering this browser-based application works like this: Opera Crypto supports the Ethereum Web3 API, which is a collection of libraries that allow developers to interact with local or remote Ethereum nodes.

The browser facilitates the process of sending and receiving cryptocurrencies via a QR code that gets generated which must then be tapped and then the transaction is made, with Coinbase also integrated for digital currency exchange.

According to the company, this new solution caters to tokens and other digital assets with some sort of monetary value attached, along with crypto-collectibles like CryptoKitties, as VentureBeat points out.

Whether they’ll be an uptake in Opera Crypto remains to be seen, but the company is confident that the browser’s ease of use and lack of dependency on an app will draw in more users. Added to this is the fact that it does not require a browser extension, and secures the wallet’s content with Android System Lock.

Is this the beginning of a new trend among mobile browsers?


Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.