We have some exciting news for Web3 enthusiasts out there. Today, we're unveiling our new Crypto Browser Project, with beta versions of the new web browser immediately available for PC, Mac and mobile phones, delivering a new web experience with Web3 at its core.
We originally launched the first web browser with an integrated cryptocurrency wallet and basic Web3 support back in 2018, but today's beta release of the Crypto Browser Project marks the beginning of a new journey. With today's step, we are providing our users and the industry with a dedicated Web3 browser, backed by a strong product team and with the aim of accelerating the evolution of the next generation of the Web.
Web3 needs a dedicated browser to shape its future
There is no doubt that decentralization has been an increasingly relevant aspect of the internet experience for years now. As interest for a more decentralized Web keeps growing, we have chosen to take an active role in shaping what the next generation of the Web looks like and how it will be accessed. Browsers will continue to play a crucial role in the decentralized internet and today's beta release reflects that. Too few of the web browsing experiences offered today have been built with the intention of putting Web3 centerstage and making blockchain technologies understandable and easy to use. With the Crypto Browser Project, we have set out to change this, and starting today, we are inviting the blockchain community to join this mission. If we are to take Web3 beyond great ideas, we need to craft products that embrace both crypto enthusiasts who understand the space and those who are only starting and want to explore it. Our belief is that the world of blockchain needs a fully dedicated browsing experience.
Latest news, podcasts, airdrops and events at a glance
The Opera Crypto Browser Project is about more than just surfing traditional websites through a one-size-fits-all solution. It's specifically designed to work with a variety of decentralized apps, or dApps, as well as provide deeper functionality than a traditional browser that has a basic web wallet add-on. This is possible thanks to a wide array of built-in, web3 focused features, as well as the inherent speed that Chromium already offers the suite of Opera browsers. For starters, the Crypto Corner gives you access to the latest blockchain news, upcoming airdrops, an industry events calendar, NFTs, crypto communities, educational content, podcasts and videos as well as crypto prices, gas fees and market sentiment - all in one spot.
Native non-custodial crypto wallet and secure clipboard
The browser also includes a new native non-custodial crypto wallet which allows you to access your crypto or sign into dApps directly from the browser, without installing any extensions. This provides additional security as both the browser and the wallet, which will be released as open source soon, have been developed by the same trusted teams in Sweden and Poland. Still want to use another wallet, such as Metamask? It will of course work in the PC browser - we have even implemented a new wallet selector tool to make this experience smooth. With the Crypto Browser you are also getting a secure clipboard that allows you to safely copy and paste. By securely monitoring itself, the clipboard makes sure no other apps have modified your wallet address or other sensitive data. You'll also enjoy Opera's free, no-log browser VPN, native ad-blocker and tracker blocker, but with the added access to Web3 websites and dApps - directly from the browser's address bar!
This experience will only get better as we progress towards the official launch of our browser in the coming months and as we add more features including Layer 2 support for growing networks.
Bringing the Web3 experience to a new level
The internet of today is working well. It provides us with incredible experiences, social interactions, as well as an information flow we couldn't have imagined 20 years ago. However, privacy and centralization in the hands of the few are areas where the current web isn't delivering.
Opera's journey into Web3
Web3, or the blockchain-based internet, promises to challenge these issues. Over the last decade, blockchain technologies have established themselves as a robust, privacy-focused alternative to centralized platforms while creating enormous value thanks to their ease of use and decentralization. Web3 is the evolution of this: it empowers internet users and developers with the ability to address fundamental issues with the current web, making the future more open and decentralized. Thanks to the power of the strong encryption that blockchains provide, Web3 can finally provide a safe way for anyone to get involved in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies; from Decentralized Finance (DeFi) - where you are your own bank, to Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs) - the amazing new realm of Digital Art, and GameFi - where you can earn as you play your way through all sorts of metaverses. The Wide World of Web3 is now at your fingertips.
Opera isn't new to the Web3 space. In 2018, we launched the world's first browser with a built-in crypto wallet. Since then, we have continued to push forward, removing some key hurdles associated with the use of crypto, including making crypto top-ups seamless and available directly in the wallet, and allowing you to send crypto and NFTs directly to other people. We have also integrated multiple blockchains, including Ethereum, Bitcoin, Celo and Nervos, and announced partnerships with Handshake, NEAR, Polygon and Solana.
Today, we are taking our Web3 effort a step further by allowing you to test experimental browsers on Android, Mac and Windows that will become our flagships for you to interact with Web3.
Shipping today in beta for you to test: The Crypto Browser Project for Windows, Mac and Android
The good news about today's announcement is that you can download the new browsers and test them yourself. When you start up your Crypto Browser on your computer, the browser is already set up with the most popular Web3 and Crypto websites. In the sidebar you will find Twitter, Telegram and Whatsapp integrated, as well as Opera's native Crypto Wallet.
You can search or access Crypto Twitter, Discord, Reddit or DappRadar directly from the browser's speed dial. The Crypto Pinboard icon will lead you to a tutorial explaining the individual parts of the Crypto Browser Project and how to use them.
Grow your Web3 skills and get all the news at a glance
The Crypto Corner is an intelligent startpage that quickly brings you up to speed on what's going on in the crypto world. You can access the Crypto Corner directly from the main screen upon launching the Crypto Browser on Windows or Mac. Additionally, it's always available as the furthest left tab with the light blue O icon. On mobile, you can access it from the bottom navigation bar. We designed the Crypto Corner to deliver all relevant information on crypto at a glance, such as current crypto prices and gas fees. The Crypto Corner also provides you with news from reliable blockchain sites and will keep you informed about interesting podcasts to listen to and crypto vlogs to watch. Even more importantly, it will let you keep track of upcoming airdrops and crypto events. If you scroll further down, you'll also be able to enter key crypto communities and, last but not least, explore an NFT gallery.
Use the Opera Wallet to navigate Web3
While you can choose to access Web3 with the Opera Crypto Browser on your PC using your Metamask, Coinbase or Binance wallet, you can also opt to use the brand new non-custodial wallet from Opera to sign in, interact or sign your transactions on the Web. Our new wallet will be a step up from the wallet previously available in our browsers and will eventually replace the wallet solution in our other browsers. With the support of ETH, ERC-20, ERC-721 tokens and ERC-1155 in the pipeline for Q1, the wallet will also allow you to purchase crypto via a fiat to crypto on-ramp, swap your crypto directly in your wallet, send and receive, as well as allow you to check your wallet balance and gas fees.
An ecosystem of partnerships
In setting up the Crypto Browser Project, we are pursuing an inclusive, multi-chain strategy and embracing as many dApp and domain name partnerships as possible with the aim of making the use of crypto and Web3 seamless for our users. We have so far partnered with Polygon, Solana, Nervos, Celo, Unstoppable Domains, Handshake and ENS, and are working on even more partnerships - with the goal of not focusing on one blockchain or token, but rather of working in a truly collaborative way that reflects the spirit of the Web3 community. Our ultimate goal is to integrate these blockchains and decentralized domain naming systems into our crypto browsers, allowing you to enjoy them all.
Accelerating Layer 2 adoption
One of the most crucial issues associated with blockchain technologies is the relatively slow speed and high energy consumption, which leads to both environmental concerns and higher transaction costs. Luckily, this has already been a key area of focus for blockchain developers for several years, with massive improvements being rolled out as we transition from "proof of work" to "proof of stake". As we await, for example, the implementation of Ethereum 2.0, which will reduce blockchain's impact by roughly 95 percent, Ethereum Layer 2 solutions and alternative blockchains already provide ways to transact and run dApps in a more environmentally conscious way. In our view, this is the best way to move forward. In order to reach mass adoption, decentralized solutions need to be scalable and just as fast and effective as those offered in the current Web. We are working towards implementing Layer 2 in our browser as quickly as possible, having already announced a partnership with Polygon and with further exciting Layer 2 partnerships to be announced in the near future.
How to get started
To try out Web3, you first have to download the Opera Crypto Browser on Android, Windows or Mac (iOS coming soon). You can then create your Opera wallet or use an existing wallet if you already have one (the restore function).
Use this feedback link or the comments section under this blog post to let us know what you think!
See you in Web3!
Download the Crypto Browsers in beta for Android, Windows and Mac. The iOS version will become available in the near future.
If you're a developer or work in developer relations and would like to join one of our teams in Sweden, Norway, Poland or in other parts of Europe, you can apply here.