Opera becomes first major web browser to support .crypto domains
Image credit: Dreamstime
Opera, the free web browser, has become the first to integrate the rogue .crypto domain extension, allowing users to make cryptocurrency payments directly in the browser.
Opera is collaborating on the project with San Francisco-based Unstoppable Domains, which is backed by the influential billionaire tech investor and Bitcoin advocate Tim Draper. The company helps users send various cryptocurrencies using just the recipient’s blockchain domain (rather than their wallet ID) and access and build “censorship resistant” websites.
A blockchain (.crypto) domain is stored on Ethereum’s decentralised pubic ledger rather than by a registrar company on a centralised cloud service. The rogue domain does not strictly exist in the global DNS and it is not recognised by ICANN.
In implementing IPFS protocol support – which allows for the sharing and storage of data in a distributed system – Opera has become the first mainstream browser to support decentralised domains like .crypto.
“[We are] adding several new features that bring the blockchain-browsing experience to a new level,” Opera said in a statement. “Opera users are […] getting the ability to access the cloudless, decentralised web of the future through IPFS-protocol support, which rethinks the way we access data online. They can also send and receive cryptocurrencies more easily by registering .crypto wallet addresses in a way similar to .com or .org domains.”
Opera’s support for .crypto domains could also allow users to circumvent internet censorship and surveillance, allowing them to publish (although not view) content that would otherwise be restricted.
“Just as with the current web, if users are facing those types of [censorship] issues, they would need to use VPNs or a similar tool. Decentralised websites solve a user’s ability to publish - it’s on the publishing side rather than on the viewing side,” said Unstoppable Domains in a statement to Cointelegraph.
“Right now, you can’t publish using a traditional domain registar if you’re in a place that is limiting free speech. Whereas, with decentralised website tools, you could. So it’s about the publishing and not the viewing.”
Unstoppable Domains told Cointelegraph that the development will also eventually improve the speed of internet connections as distributed networks are more robust, have better uptime and will reduce the risk of incidents such as DDoS attacks.
Opera has a relatively small share of the browser market, with approximately 360 million users, but it offers a distinct set of features, including some cryptocurrency-friendly features. In December 2018, it became the first mainstream browser to integrate a native crypto wallet, which allowed users in Scandinavia and the US to make cryptocurrency payments in their browser.
With Opera’s latest update, this capability is now being expanded to the rest of the EU, as well as to Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Switzerland.
Sign up to the E&T News e-mail to get great stories like this delivered to your inbox every day.