TECH: Opera launches a dedicated crypto browser.

Opera has launched its Web3 “Cryp­to Brows­er” in beta with fea­tures such as an inte­grat­ed cryp­to wal­let, easy access to cryptocurrency/NFT exchanges, sup­port for decen­tral­ized appli­ca­tions (dApps) and more. The goal is to “sim­pli­fy the Web3 user expe­ri­ence that is often con­fus­ing for main­stream users,” Opera exec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent Jor­gen Arnensen said in a statement.

A key fea­ture is the built-in non-cus­to­di­al wal­let which will sup­port blockchains includ­ing Ethereum, Bit­coin, Celo and Ner­vos from the start. He also announced part­ner­ships with Poly­gon and oth­ers. The idea is to allow you to access your cryp­to with­out the need for exten­sions, with the pos­si­bil­i­ty of using third-par­ty wal­lets as well. You can buy cryp­tocur­ren­cy through a fiat cryp­to on-ramp, exchange cryp­to direct­ly in the wal­let, send and receive it, and check your wal­let bal­ance. It even has a secure clip­board that ensures oth­er apps can’t receive data when you copy/paste.

The oth­er main fea­ture is sup­port for Web3, aka blockchain-based decen­tral­ized inter­net, aka the hot new thing among cryp­to enthu­si­asts (and skep­tics). Along with pro­vid­ing addi­tion­al secu­ri­ty through blockchain encryp­tion, it allows users access to things like Game­Fi “where you can earn by play­ing through all sorts of meta­vers­es,” Opera notes. It also offers a “Cryp­to Cor­ner” with the lat­est blockchain news that “also allows you to devel­op your Web3 skills”, accord­ing to Opera.

Opera rival Mozil­la recent­ly announced it would accept cryp­tocur­ren­cy dona­tions, but was hit with a back­lash from users includ­ing co-founder Jamie Zaw­in­s­ki over the envi­ron­men­tal impact of the blockchain. Per­haps antic­i­pat­ing a sim­i­lar back­lash, Opera said it was work­ing to imple­ment the more pow­er-effi­cient Etheri­um Lay­er 2 stan­dard “as quick­ly as possible.”

Oth­er com­pa­nies like Ubisoft jump­ing on the blockchain band­wag­on with NFTs and oth­er offer­ings have been hit with sim­i­lar crit­i­cism. How­ev­er, Opera at least gives its users a choice with sev­er­al brows­er options, as it also offers its usu­al Opera brows­er and the one ded­i­cat­ed to gamers. Cryp­to Brows­er is avail­able now for Android, Win­dows, and Mac, with an iOS ver­sion com­ing soon.

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