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Who would have known Opera and bitcoin could go so well together? We’re not necessarily talking about classically trained singers that wear Viking horns and hit high notes, but rather the Norwegian financial platform that’s been touting the addition of bitcoin to its Android app since July of 2018.
Opera and BTC: A Perfect Match?
The app was launched privately and was later available to the public in December. Opera inherently became one of the first browsers to support bitcoin directly, and customers did not need any extensions or follow-up downloads to engage in crypto transactions. From there, bitcoin support came to the Opera iPhone app.
Opera presently has about 350 million users, and many enthusiasts see this as a prime movement in the fight to make bitcoin mainstream. In a blog post, the company writes:
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 with an image or a music file. 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.
Up to this stage, Opera only provided support for Ethereum, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency and a primary competitor to bitcoin. However, the company is also introducing plans to support Tron in the coming months.
The last few weeks have marked by a whole new list of platforms or companies showing support for cryptocurrencies they otherwise were ignoring. One such example comes in the form of the new HTC smartphone known as Exodus 1s, which can allegedly support a full bitcoin node. This means that the phone can hold the entire blockchain ledger.
Other examples include Electrum, a new bitcoin wallet which has recently added the Lightning Network to its platform. The Lightning Network is designed to assist with scalability on the bitcoin blockchain. While bitcoin is the oldest, largest and arguably the most popular of the world’s cryptocurrencies, it often lacks the up-to-date technology of its newer altcoin counterparts. Thus, it suffers from slow transaction times and smaller blocks.
How Lightning Is Making Things Simpler
The Lightning Network initiates micropayments that occur off-chain to ensure that they are pushed through quickly. Electrum’s addition of Lightning is likely to enable faster speeds for customers and ensure that payments are pushed through with ease.
We’ve also received word of a new startup called Moon, which allows Amazon customers to purchase goods and services from the online retailer with crypto. The application also works through Lightning-based technology and appears to recognize the Amazon page once you log in. When you’re ready to check out, it provides you with a crypto pay option that shows how many available funds you can spend.