Opera has officially added Bitcoin support to its Android browser app, nearly a year after it first introduced a built-in crypto wallet.
This means Opera users can now carry out Bitcoin transactions directly in the browser without needing any extensions or following any other complex processes.
The Norwegian company first teased a crypto wallet for its Android app last July in private beta, before launching it to the public in December — making it the first of the major browsers to support cryptocurrencies natively. The company later expanded support to Opera on the desktop app and on iPhone.
Opera’s crypto wallet had until now only supported Ethereum, a lower-profile Bitcoin alternative, but back in July the company announced plans to support both Bitcoin and the Tron cryptocurrency and blockchain. They had been available in beta, but with today’s news both crypto networks are now officially supported in the main Opera Android app.
This launch follows a trend of big tech companies embracing blockchain. Earlier this week, HTC launched the Exodus 1s blockchain smartphone, which also comes bundled with Opera. Facebook too is making moves in the cryptocurrency sphere with Libra, though global regulatory scrutiny has led many of its initial partners to jump ship ahead of the planned 2020 launch.
As the original blockchain and cryptocurrency poster child, Bitcoin is a notable addition to Opera’s cypto wallet. With some 350 million users across all platforms, Opera is potentially bringing the popular cryptocurrency to the global masses, simply by making it more accessible.
“With this release, Opera opens its crypto wallet to the world’s most popular blockchain, making it possible to send and receive BTC directly from the browser the way one would an image or a music file,” the company wrote in a blog post. “This means anyone can now not only send Bitcoin and Ethereum to another person, but can also use it while interacting with websites to pay for goods or services.”
It’s worth noting that while Opera has limited its Bitcoin expansion to Android for now, we can likely expect support to land on other Opera platforms in the future — its recent launch history has shown that it usually starts with Android, followed by desktop, and then iOS.