Opera browser to add Ethereum wallet support
Ethereum in the palm of your hand.
The Opera web browser has diving more deeply into cryptocurrencies by announcing Ethereum wallet support for the next version of its mobile web browser. The program is currently in beta, letting users sign up for a test drive at www.opera.com/crypto.
Note that at the time of writing the sign-up link is down, as is the Opera blog post announcing the move. It's not clear whether there's been a delay, if it was just overwhelmed or what else might have happened. There's still a nice video though.
What to expect
"We believe the web of today will be the interface to the decentralised web of tomorrow," says the press release. "This is why we have chosen to use our browser to bridge the gap. We think that with a built-in crypto wallet, the browser has the potential to renew and extend its important role as a tool to access information, make transactions online and manage users' online identity in a way that gives them more control."
"In addition to being able to send money from wallet to wallet and interact with Dapps, Opera now supports online payments with cryptocurrency where merchants support exists. Users that choose to pay for their order using cryptocurrency on Coinbase Commerce-enabled merchants will be presented with a payment request dialog, asking them for their signature. The payment will then be signed and transmitted directly from the browser."
Opera has previously brushed with cryptocurrencies, by adding anti-cryptojacking software to its browsers as part of the native ad-blocking that comes by default.
"Our hope is that this will accelerate the transition of cryptocurrencies from speculation and investment to being used for actual payments and transactions in our users’ daily lives," said Opera product manager Charles Hamel.
The news comes shortly after a re-reveal of HTC's plans for a blockchain smartphone that comes with its own Ether wallet and crypto support. Despite the relative prevalence of mobile wallet apps, actually engaging with the Ethereum blockchain and other cryptocurrency applications has tended to be very much a desktop computer thing.
If there's one thing the Internet has learned in the last decade, it's that you can't skimp on mobile accessibility. The flow to mobile of actual cryptocurrency applications, even just in the form of Ethereum wallets for all your crypto and kitty needs, might be a noteworthy development in the space.
Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VET, XLM, BTC, NANO