Opera is planning to expand its popularity among blockchain and crypto savvy users by embedding a cryptocurrency wallet into its desktop browser. With the move announced on August 8, 2018, it is expected to handle cryptocurrencies easier, as no other significant browser currently offers a similar service. If successful, Opera hopes to disrupt the browser market by removing the need for cryptocurrency users to install third-party browser add-ons or apps.
A Unique Security Approach
The new desktop wallet framework takes the conventional model of cryptographic wallet security and turns it on its head with some exciting if not yet perfect results. Since June 2018, Android versions of Opera browser have been integrated with a cryptocurrency wallet.
The new desktop wallet, which supports Ethereum and Ethereum-based assets, will integrate with the Android wallet such that when the user wishes to make a transaction, they simply sign the operation with the phone’s inbuilt fingerprint reader instead of using a long, complicated passphrase.
This completely sidesteps the problem of forgotten, stolen, or misspelled pass keys. Biometric details like fingerprints are a lot harder to steal or duplicate than regular passphrases, so it also potentially increases the security of users’ funds. Using this approach, it is expected that there will be less incidence of irretrievable coins.
Under this framework, all crypto tokens and digital assets along with their unique cryptographic keys are stored locally on user devices instead of on a remote server that potentially opens them up to a hacking risk. To commence integration between Android and desktop wallets, users only have to scan a simple QR code.
Speaking about the new framework in a statement released to the media, Opera EVP of Browsers, Krystian Kolondra said:
“After making crypto payments smooth and easy on mobile, we wanted the find the perfect solution for PCs. We realized the best way is to utilize our new mobile crypto wallet technology and to give our PC users access to it.”
Opera’s big bet
Recently backed by Bitmain, Opera’s major gamble being executed here is a prediction that DApps and other blockchain-based applications (so-called Web 3.0 apps) will achieve significant general adoption and some sort of mass use case, which could place the browser at the head of the blockchain technology arms race.
Expanding on this, Kolondra continued:
“Our next aim is to make crypto-integration mainstream. We believe blockchain technology has the power to transform the web of tomorrow and expect it to make a big difference in the years to come.”
While no definite time frame has been given for the rollout of the desktop wallet service, Opera has promised that the integration will become available to users “soon.”