Cryptocurrency makes its way into web browsers through Opera. In collaboration with Bitmain technologies, Opera has introduced a newly integrated Ethereum wallet that will store digital currency in the form of tokens and allow users to make purchases, interact with decentralized apps on the Ethereum network, and send or receive digital currency emulating the traditional digital wallet. Last month, Opera initiated the process by beta testing a built-in crypto wallet on the Android mobile browser, which received appraisal and warm optimism from testers. Now, they have stepped on a higher pedestal by bringing the crypto wallet to the desktop version of Opera’s browsing freeware.
— Opera (@opera) August 8, 2018
If you’re familiar with Spotify’s device synchronization which allows users to control their PC/tablet/laptop’s music through smartphones, you’ve already caught on. First, users may need to download the Android version of the browsing app and enable the crypto wallet on their devices. Next, users can connect their android phones to their PC browsers by simply scanning a QR code.
Supporting Ethereum Web3 API, Opera’s crypto wallet will be integrated with a “default WebView” on top. The press release notes that the wallet will automatically add tokens and collectibles. For Ethereum holders or potential users, Opera’s new extension is an amalgam of relief and ease. You no longer need separate extensions or programs to send, receive or even pay with your cryptocurrency. In fact, you don’t even need to remember any PIN codes to proceed with a transaction either. Unlike typical digital wallets, Opera relies on Android’s secure system lock to sign transactions, including security access keys that are stored on the user’s phone.
The browsing giant has been notably active in highlighting user privacy and have even gone to provide a VPN with the browser, ensuring personalization. Similarly, this time Opera has addressed security concerns in their blog post by stating:
Privacy is a very important aspect for browsers in general, but even more so for crypto wallet users. Our aim was to create a user-controlled crypto wallet that provides enhanced control and security of the keys which are used to control the wallet’s funds.
What does this mean for dApps?
Investing in efforts to provide a secure and malware-free zone can inspire dApps (Decentralized Applications) to join in on the fun. The crypto wallet itself will function as a dApp browser, eliminating the need to embed a wallet in their browsers or entrusting web wallets with their funds. Users can browse and interact with Ethereum blockchain based dApps such as Augur, Airswap and CryptoKitties, using the dApp explorer in the wallet. Charles Hamel, product lead of Opera Crypto says in the blog post:
Some users prefer to perform crypto payments or interact with dApps on their desktop. They can now do so in a simple way by using the same wallet they have on their mobile phone.
What remains to be seen is how far Opera is willing to dive into the world of cryptocurrencies. A reality check is what Opera should revert to. Earlier this year, Opera took measures to ensure protection from cryptojacking. As more and more websites are monetizing their users via in-browser cryptocurrency mining, Opera 50, in retaliation to such monetization, now uses the No Coin list, which is updated regularly as new mining scripts emerge. This time, with funds and tokens involved, Opera has yet to stay whole and provide first class fund protection, which is what they have guaranteed to users who trust their proudly brandished crypto wallet.