The Opera web browser has added bitcoin e-commerce and TRON integration to its Android app, the company said.
The enhanced crypto functionality will let Opera for android users make bitcoin payments directly from its built-in digital wallet and interact with decentralized apps (dapps) on the TRON blockchain. It could increase crypto visibility among the browser’s claimed 300 million users.
Charles Hamel, Head of Crypto at Opera, told CoinDesk:
“Most people have heard of bitcoin and thus we saw it as important to support it and make this feature more familiar to a larger group of people.”
Of the top-five browsers chrome, safari, Samsung Internet, UC browser and Opera – Opera remains the only one to have digital wallet integration. Now it is another tech move by one of the web’s oldest apps.
Though technically a legacy product (Opera launched as a research project over two decades ago) the Norway-based web surfer pivoted towards crypto in the past year, regularly expanding digital wallet functionality to its mobile and desktop offerings.
In July 2018, Opera for Android piloted an ethereum digital wallet as a step towards “Web 3.0:” the vision of a decentralized future internet built on a blockchain. It then began studying blockchain “growth opportunities” with financial services advisors Ledger Capital that October.
Since then, Opera introduced a “web 3 ready” android browser, a crypto-friendly iOS app, a desktop browser with native digital wallet support, and partnered with a Swedish crypto broker to sell Scandinavians discounted ETH.
Hamel told CoinDesk that the apps are now synchronized and optimized for adoption of a future web3. But he said that adding bitcoin was a challenge, as much because of its differences as its use-cases.
“Bitcoin is a completely different beast that requires its own infrastructure and has a payment-focused usage scenario.”