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Opera Browser with Crypto Wallet: Ethereum, Web3, Free VPN – COIN360
SUMMARY
April 23  |  7 min read

Reborn 3: A New Opera Desktop Browser With Crypto

The COIN360 Editorial Team

On April 9 2019 Opera announced its newest desktop web browser complete with a list of distinctive features for crypto users and a free VPN. According to the developers, the new browser will give users “a sense of control over their online lives and a glimpse into the Web of the future”.

The new Opera browser (its codename is Reborn 3, but it’s also called Opera 60) has improved security and privacy and an updated design. It boasts of being the first major computer browser with a native crypto wallet and Web 3 explorer. Sounds nice, but how do these marketing claims correspond to reality? Read our latest review to find out about the features and real use cases of Reborn 3, its advantages and disadvantages, different users’ opinions and development plans.

Description

  • Release date: 9 April, 2019
  • Platforms: Mac OS, Windows, Linux
  • Features: built-in crypto wallet, Web 3 explorer, free VPN
  • Cryptocurrency support: Ethereum, ERC-20 tokens, ERC-721 tokens
  • Crypto wallet security: synchronization with users’ smartphones and the use of their security features (i.e. fingerprints and facial recognition); private keys storage on users’ smartphones.

Opera has 2 different browsers with built-in crypto wallets: Reborn 3 for desktop and Opera with Crypto Wallet for Android. It all started with Opera with Crypto Wallet for Android, which was released in December 2018. To use crypto features on their desktop browser, users need to pair it with their Android browser. For example, to sign a transaction on your desktop browser, you will be asked to confirm it on your Android mobile device.

Opera Crypto Wallet and Free VPN Service – Review on COIN360

Charles Hamel, the Head of Crypto at Opera, explains key features of the new desktop crypto browser.

How did Opera Reborn 3 start?

Back in July 2018, Opera introduced the private beta of a browser with a built-in crypto wallet. It was only available on Android then, and new users were invited to join and share their feedback. Charles Hamel, the Head of Crypto at Opera, claimed that it was their “first step towards making cryptocurrencies and Web 3.0 mainstream”. He explained that despite the tremendous activity and heightened interest in crypto, it was still a challenge for it to reach wider adoption. Thus, Opera aimed to solve the challenge by providing seamless and user-friendly solutions with its new browser.

The decision to support Ethereum was made due to it hosting the largest community of developers building dapps. From the beginning, ERC-20 tokens were automatically added to the cryptocurrency wallet; it also supported some ERC-721s like CryptoKitties, and the developers promised to add support for more in upcoming releases.

Finally, on Dec.13, 2018, Opera reported that their new browser for Android was ready to download, and it became the first member of a family of new format browsers with native crypto wallets, including the recently released Reborn 3 and the latest version of Opera Touch for iOS, currently under development.

Why is Reborn 3 special?

Reborn 3 gives users access to their crypto funds without the need of intermediary wallet apps or extensions. After you download the browser and create a cryptocurrency wallet (or restore an already existing one using a seed phrase), you can sign transactions and explore Web 3.

Opera: Cryptocurrency Wallet for Ethereum Tokens

What is Web 3?

Web 3 is generally understood as the set of technologies that includes blockchains, cryptocurrencies, and distributed systems. Web 3 is often called “the internet of the future”; it returns ownership of data back to users, and has no central point of control. Applications that are built on Web 3 are decentralized applications or dapps.

Is the crypto wallet secure?

Crypto transactions can be securely signed without the unnecessary oversharing of users’ data. Wallet keys are never backed up or transmitted by the Opera browser; they are kept on users’ smartphones and are protected by PIN/fingerprints/face recognition features. Users bear full responsibility for storing and securing their keys and backup phrases. It’s necessary to store your backup phrase somewhere outside your smartphone as well so that you can restore your wallet in case you lose access to your device.

What are the browser’s crypto use cases?

In this section, we will concentrate on the crypto use cases. For non-crypto use cases (a built-in ad blocker, free VPN, foreign currencies converter, capturing, messengers, customization, etc.), watch this video.

Here are the crypto related things you can do with Reborn 3:

  1. Sign cryptocurrency transactions, send and receive crypto funds from wallet to wallet.
  2. Log in to Ethereum dapps: games, gambling dapps, decentralized exchanges, etc.
  3. Pay online with cryptocurrency (only available for stores and merchants which accept crypto).
  4. Store Ethereum, ERC-20 tokens, and ERC-721 collectibles.

How can I start using the crypto wallet on Reborn 3?

  1. Download the browser from the official Opera website.
  2. Run the downloaded file and perform installation.
  3. Open Opera and choose Crypto Wallet on the welcome screen.
  4. Install Opera with Crypto Wallet on your Android phone if you haven’t done it before and if you have an Android smartphone.
  5. Create a new cryptocurrency wallet or restore an old one using your seed phrase.
  6. Scan the QR code on your computer screen with your mobile device.
  7. Your mobile and desktop wallets are paired now, and you can sign crypto transactions and explore Web 3.

Set up a Crypto Wallet in Opera Browser

What does the community say?

This Reddit thread is a good illustration of what the community thought about the new browser, with some of the most notable opinions being:

  • “Very excited to see the first steps to native Web3 in a browser. Brave's Web3 works through an extension.”
  • “I really doubt they can offer a free, fast VPN. I remember how they shut down their Opera VPN on mobile.”
  • “Why would I want to use this instead of a much more configurable and open-source browser such as Firefox? I can install an add-on for wallet and VPN if I want to.”
  • “Sounds like some serious Brave competition”.
  • “Fail 1: they use Infura and don't let you switch to your own provider or node. Fail 2: they require you to connect your phone to the desktop browser to get wallet functionality. Absolutely no reason for that. Fail 3: they inject an unauthorized (i.e. Not yet functioning, while you're not yet connected to your phone) provider into websites, overriding Metamask AND exposing your eth address to everyone without asking. In other words, you cannot alternate between this and metamask without turning their wallet completely off. Nice try Opera, but maybe spend some time with us in the dev trenches and learn from the mistakes we've outgrown a while back.”
  • “Oh come on, this is a very good first step. As long as the RPC address is configurable, you can already choose your own node. A pure light client will surely be on the roadmap.”
  • “This is super neat! I used Opera for a few years (after they switched to Chromium) and really enjoyed it, but I haven't gone back since. It is so neat to see blockchain get closer to the average user.”

As you can see, the release was hotly debated, and the opinions were quite controversial. While some users declared their love and support to Reborn 3:

Crypto Wallet and Dapps in Opera Browser, Free VPN

others highlighted serious problems.

No Android – no crypto features

First, you have to connect your mobile device with Opera for Android to your computer to sign transactions. Even if you are using Mac, the only way to get full access to your crypto wallet is to connect it to an Android device. If you don’t have any, you’ll have to wait until Opera releases its iOS version of a browser with a built-in crypto wallet.

Controversial VPN

Second, lots of users are not too thrilled about the free VPN provided by Opera. Some of them claim that it is not actually a VPN, but more of a proxy. Others fear for their private data; an outraged Reddit user exclaims: “When are you going to figure out that all they want is your personal info?”. The idea of Opera’s “Chinese VPN” even became a meme on social media:

Opera Free VPN & Cryptocurrency Browser

Speed issue

Third, some users have experienced problems with load performance; here’s a typical complaint: “Opening a new tab is definitely slower than before. It takes over 2 seconds for me until it is completely loaded.” Users are even nostalgic for Opera 58, which didn’t have such issues.

Opera Reborn 3: Web3 Browser Review on COIN360

What is the final verdict?

After using Reborn 3 and reviewing other users’ comments, we are ready to highlight the pros and cons of this new Opera browser.

Pros:

  1. No need for additional applications or extensions, you get seamless access to cryptocurrency funds and Web 3.
  2. Ease of use.
  3. Crypto wallet keys are never backed up or transmitted by Opera, wallet address is exposed to sites and tabs only if users allow to reveal it.

Cons:

  1. While using Reborn 3 on your computer, you’ll have to keep your mobile device handy. And make sure it is an Android device. And if you don’t have an Android device, you won’t be able to use the browser’s crypto wallet on your computer, because it is only paired with Opera for Android.
  2. The built-in free VPN raises lots of questions about personal data security.
  3. The loading speed has decreased in comparison with previous versions.
  4. Though Opera claims to be a “major” browser, it’s not mainstream: only around 3% of users browse the internet with it. The idea of making crypto mainstream from a non-mainstream browser seems rather questionable.

What are the Opera team’s development plans?

Opera is working on integrating its cryptocurrency wallet into Opera Touch, an iOS browser. Opera Touch got a Red Dot Communication Design Award in 2018, and will soon get the functionality similar to that of Opera for Android: a built-in crypto wallet, Web 3 access, and so on. There’s still no exact date for the release, but you can sign up for the newsletter and get early access.

Final thoughts

A browser with a built-in crypto wallet is a real breakthrough, and we fully understand the enthusiasm of its developers and supporters. With that being said, it didn’t all go smoothly and its shortcomings raised important issues which were highlighted in this review.

Opera claims that the new browser is a serious step towards the mainstream adoption of crypto. But Opera itself isn’t a mainstream browser. The big question is: whether Opera boosts crypto, or crypto boosts Opera? In any case, this collaboration might bring mutual benefits, especially if Opera listens to the crypto community and improves the weaknesses which werу found during these first two weeks after the release.

Thanks for reading,
The COIN360 Editorial Team