Opera introduces major updates to its blockchain-browser on Android

Opera introduces IPFS support, expands crypto top ups to the EU and adds support for .crypto addresses
  • The world’s first Web 3 ready browser introduces seamless support for the decentralized web through IPFS support
  • Opera expands 30-second crypto wallet top-ups to the entire EU, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Switzerland.
  • Opera users can now register .crypto domain names and wallet addresses

Oslo, March 30, 2020 – Opera (NASDAQ: OPRA) was the first browser to introduce Web 3 capabilities and a built-in crypto wallet across its mobile and computer browsers. The Norwegian company is now adding several new features that bring the blockchain-browsing experience to a new level. Opera currently has 360 million users worldwide.

The users of Opera for Android are getting a glimpse of the future: after introducing seamless crypto wallet top ups to Scandinavia and the US, Opera is now expanding them to the rest of the EU, as well as Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Switzerland. 

Opera users are now also getting the ability to access  the cloudless, decentralized web   of the future through IPFS protocol support, which rethinks the way we access data online. They can also send and receive cryptocurrencies more easily by registering .crypto wallet addresses in a way similar to .com or .org domains.

Eliminating hurdles to mainstream crypto-adoption 

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

To make this possible, Opera is partnering with Wyre, a US cryptocurrency-brokerage firm, 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. 

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.”

From zero to crypto in less than 30 seconds

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 30 seconds. In Opera for Android, you can easily use cards such as Revolut directly in the browser.

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.

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.

Simplified sending and receiving with a personal .crypto address

True crypto-geeks will appreciate the fact that Opera has also partnered with Unstoppable Domains, a blockchain naming system built on Ethereum. 

Blockchain domain names  are similar to .com or .org domains, the main difference being that they are stored 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. A .crypto domain or wallet address works in much the same way, providing this experience on a blockchain. What this means in practice is that by owning a .crypto domain name, you can simplify your wallet address. Instead of sending someone a long set of numbers, you can use a short address like operafan.crypto, which makes it easier to send and receive cryptocurrencies in your wallet.

Decentralized Cloudless storage

Web 3 is not just about enabling dApps or value transfer on the web, it’s also about rethinking the way we access data online. One of the important new Web 3 protocols which make this possible is IPFS.

IPFS is a protocol which allows you 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 it’s location, the browser can ask the network for a file using its 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 hash. 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 worked directly 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.

The browser of choice for millions of people

The Opera browser for Android is a leading challenger browser, and is the choice for millions of people worldwide who prefer Opera over the more simple default browsers. In the last half of 2019, the browser increased its monthly active user base by forty percent 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.

About Opera

Founded in 1995 in Norway, Opera provides browsers and AI-driven content delivery solutions to 360 million people worldwide. On December 13, it introduced the first blockchain-ready browser. Opera is listed on Nasdaq under the OPRA ticker symbol.

Opera for Android is available for download from Google Play store.