On Wednesday (11 July 2018), Opera Software announced that it was introducing the world’s first browser with a built-in crypto wallet and support for Ethereum “Web 3.0” (i.e. Ethereum Decentralized Apps).
The latest version of the Opera browser for Android, which is currently undergoing a private best test, offers a “user-controlled crypto wallet” (meaning that the private key for the wallet is stored on the user’s phone and nowhere else) that “relies on Android’s secure system lock to sign transactions” so that users don’t have to remember any new PIN codes or passwords.
Opera says that one advantage of integrating a crypto wallet into a full-featured browser is that its wallet, unlike existing DApp browsers/extensions, which “unfortunately expose uniquely identifiable wallet information to all sites visited” (thereby “raising risks of tracking or phishing attacks”), asks “a user’s permission for each site requesting wallet information before exposing it, similar to how existing web permissions work (geolocation, camera or file system access, for example).” To help users discover DApps, Opera has also integrated a “DApp Explorer”.
Also, Opera says that as well as support all ERC20 tokens, which are automatically added to your wallet’s home screen, it is currently supporting CryptoKitties, and it will be adding support for other ERC721 Collectibles in future releases.
If you have an Android phone and you’d like to start trying out this new version of Opera, you need to visit https://www.opera.com/crypto and use a gmail address to request an invite. Once you have installed the app, you need to tap on the red O logo in the bottom right of the screen and select “Crypto Wallet” to get started. You will then be able to choose to either create a new wallet or to import an existing one using a standard 12-word backup phrase.
According to a report by Gizmodo (UK), product manager Charles Hamel had this to say about the launch:
“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. This opens up new possibilities for merchants and content creators alike… We believe the web of today will be the interface to the decentralized web of tomorrow… By becoming the first major browser to open up to Web 3.0, we would like to contribute to making the internet of the future more accessible. Our hope is that this will accelerate the transition of cryptocurrencies from speculation and investment to being used for actual payments and transactions in our users’ daily lives.”
Featured Image Credit: Interface Image Courtesy of Opera