Opera has announced the public release of its Web browser "Web 3-ready", which boasts in particular a portfolio of embedded cryptocurrency.
Previously available in beta, Opera for Android supports ethereum ether and other tokens using the network's ERC-20 standard. The app also provides support for crypto collectibles (ERC-721 standard) such as CryptoKitties, as well as decentralized apps based on Ethereum, or dapps, accessible from the portfolio.
"Until now, using cryptocurrencies online and accessing Web 3 requires special apps or extensions, making it difficult for people to even try it out." Our new browser removes friction, "said Charles Hamel, product manager of Opera Crypto.
Speaking with CoinDesk, Hamel said that the new product is largely the same as the beta version, but since it was approaching a "much larger audience", the company had taken the feedback into consideration and updated "significantly" the app's user interface.
Now it displays "less confusing language" for users and reduces the steps necessary to set up the wallet.
The company has chosen to support ethereum because it has the "largest community of developers that builds the pieces and has gathered a lot of momentum," according to the Opera.
The cryptographic portfolio of Opera complements the Web3 ethereum API, facilitating interactions with all. The company defines it as "a tool to access information, perform online transactions and manage users' online identity in such a way as to give them greater control".
Feel the feedback
Hamel said that during the beta phase, Opera received feedback from developers who want to make sure their early work works as intended in the browser.
As a result, "we have better stability and better compatibility with the dapp," he said, adding that the portfolio is "much safer than a" browser extension ".
With the Android browser now available on the Google Play Store, Opera's plans add similar updates to its full desktop browser for Windows, Mac and Linux in 2019, while a developer version is already available for testing.
As for an Apple iOS app, however, Hamel told CoinDesk that since it's a more "challenging" and "stiffer" environment for app providers, "It's not a goal for us right now."
Krystian Kolondra, executive vice president for Opera's browsers, said in a statement:
"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 the daily lives of our users."
In October, Opera announced a partnership with Ledger Capital, a financial advisory firm and blockchain, to further explore the blockchain technology. At the time, the two companies said they were looking for new applications and use cases for blockchain, as well as "growth opportunities" for the technology inside Opera products.
Opera Image via Shutterstock