Opera announced today that its desktop browser will soon feature a built-in Ethereum wallet. The wallet will allow users to make transactions involving Ethereum tokens and collectibles. Opera’s announcement follows on from the events of last month, when the company introduced the Opera Crypto wallet for Android. The company made that app available to users taking part in a private beta. And now:
“After the overwhelmingly positive response of the crypto-community and users to the crypto wallet in Opera for Android, Opera has decided to open up its popular PC browser to the mobile crypto wallet.”
Even though it has less than a 5% share of the market, Opera is the most popular mobile browser that also includes a cryptocurrency wallet. More major browsers such as Chrome have had a rocky relationship with crypto plugins and all have shied away from integration. That said, there is a precedent for built-in wallets among more minor browsers: Brave, for example, has Metamask pre-installed.
But there is a catch: Opera users will need a phone to use the new desktop wallet. In order to create a uniform sign-in procedure, Opera’s wallet keys will be stored on users’ phones, requiring users to log in with a fingerprint scan rather than with a passphrase. Opera’s reasoning is that users may need to run dApps and Web 3.0 sites on their desktops, but can sign for those apps on their phone. In other words, this wallet is a bridge between devices.
Opera has slowly been adding cryptocurrency features and making partnerships: over the past year, it has implemented an anti-cryptojacking feature and has added a built-in cryptocurrency price converter. It also received a $50 million grant from the mining titan Bitmain just before it launched its mobile wallet.
On the whole, Opera seems to be taking tentative steps toward embracing cryptocurrency rather than immediately implementing a possibly insecure solution. Although desktop-only users may feel left out, they do have the option of installing MetaMask.
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