How Will Browsers Work on the Decentralized Web?

Apr 30, 2021

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As blockchain and cryptocurrency creep more into the mainstream every day, the decentralized web looks less like a dream and more like a real possibility. But there are still many questions surrounding Web 3.0 and how it will work on a day-to-day basis.

Some of these questions are around browsers. How will browsers work on the decentralized web and with blockchain in general? Will we need to radically update the browsers we already have? And what kind of challenges will browsers face around security and privacy, for example?

To answer these questions, we sat down with Temoc Weber, Vice President of Business Development at Opera, a web browser that has been around for over 25 years and has over 380 million users around the world. Recently, we announced an integration with Opera that allows users to access .crypto decentralized websites natively from the Opera browser. This is a huge step toward onboarding all 4.7 billion Internet users onto Web 3.0.

How do browsers like Opera work with Web 3.0?

Browsers already play an important role in how people discover and connect with blockchain and crypto. They’re the starting point for these journeys, the place we first read about these subjects, open our first wallet, and start making transactions.

But traditional browsers are limited. They’re all based in Web 2.0, which is a completely different paradigm from the decentralized Web 3.0. Temoc explains that it’s Opera’s goal to build a bridge between these two worlds. They’ve built features like a native crypto wallet in the browser itself to achieve this goal and now offer native resolution for .crypto websites as well.

What are the benefits of Web 3.0 browsers?

Allowing users to be able to access decentralized websites natively from traditional browsers makes all kinds of things easier. For example, buying CryptoKitties is a much simpler process on Opera, since your wallet is automatically linked in the browser. Temoc says it’s all about improving UX — breaking down the barriers for entry into the world of crypto for those who aren’t experienced crypto natives.

How do you ensure privacy in a decentralized browser?

One of the big questions for crypto browsers is how to ensure privacy. For Opera, which is subject to European data privacy regulations like GDPR, this is an immediate and major issue.

Data privacy is strictly enforced in the EU, and browsers are required to take every possible precaution to ensure their users’ personal information is kept safe and handled responsibly. As a result, Opera places privacy at their core and takes it extremely seriously.

Some features aimed at protecting users’ privacy include VPN, app-blocking, and anti-tracing built into the browser. These are the kind of tools that should be built into any crypto browser to ensure maximum safety on Web 3.0.

Seeing a giant browser like Opera, with hundreds of millions of users, making the transition into Web 3.0 is a truly exciting move and a promising sign that the shift to greater decentralization is well underway.

For more discussions with guests on a wide variety of topics related to crypto, blockchain, and decentralization, aimed at all experience levels, tune into The Unstoppable Podcast.