Opera, the fifth most widely utilized browser behind Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari, has added built-in Ethereum support to its desktop app, enabling Web 3.0, an ecosystem that allows users can seamlessly interact with decentralized applications (dApps) and peer-to-peer systems on the blockchain. To utilize Ethereum-based dApps, users are required to have non-custodial wallets like MetaMask to securely send transactions on the mainnet. But, for most casual users, relying on external applications as an additional step towards using dApps could restrict accessibility.
As mainstream browsers move towards adding support for Ethereum and various blockchain standards, the accessibility and user activity of dApps is expected to increase massively.
Opera only accounts 3.7 percent of the market share of the browser industry. But, that is because Chrome and Safari have absolute dominance over the browser industry with a combined market share of 71 percent. The integration of Ethereum and the ERC20 standard by Opera marks an important step towards mainstream acceptance of cryptocurrencies and dApps. While its market share and user base are relatively small in comparison to its comeptitors, Opera is a widely recognized browser with an active and loyal user base.
Currently, on Google Chrome, most Ethereum and dApp users rely on MetaMask, a non-custodial Ethereum wallet operated by ConsenSys, a blockchain software studio created and run by Ethereum co-creator Joseph Lubin. To access MetaMask, users have to download and install the plugin on Google’s browser store, which requires users to undergo additional steps to install the wallet. On Opera, because the wallet is already integrated into the browser, users can seamlessly utilized its built-in infrastructure to access dApps. Still, the Ethereum wallet of Opera needs significant improvement. It lacks the sophistication and execution of popular apps like MetaMask particularly in fee estimation and testnet support. But, the cryptocurrency sector has already taken a major step towards gaining mainstream recognition by major browsers.
In July, it was reported that Bitmain, the world’s largest crypto mining equipment manufacturer, is set to acquire 43 percent of stake in Opera. Although it remains unclear whether Bitmain has invested in the browser, the two corporations reportedly held discussions prior to the release of the reports in regarding a potential acquisition. With the successful deployment of built-in cryptocurrency wallet and Ethereum integration, Opera is expected to move forward with its cryptocurrency-focused development roadmap.
Considering that Opera is more popular amongst mobile users than desktop users and the various security benefits of using mobile-based systems over desktop and web-based platforms, it is likely that Opera will continue to show improvements in its mobile cryptocurrency infrastructure.