Blockchain Browsers — How DLT Could Affect Web Surfing

The appearance of blockchain technology can be compared with the emergence of internet at the initial stage of its development: Users were cautious about a decentralized system and failed to understand many of its subtleties. But just as firms opened up to the internet, almost all corporations are now working on integrating blockchain into their processes — at least as a trial. And there are some reasons for this trend: With the acceleration of data transfers, globalization and the amount of information, the security questions concerning personal data are becoming more acute for users. 

Personal information, in a way, is becoming valuable — and thus, monetized. Most can recall a series of scandals involving Facebook and Google, which have been plagued by allegations of misusing the data of millions of users. Therefore, the idea of ​​a “Web 3.0,” which would provide people with control over their content and digital identity, is gradually gaining popularity. Traditional internet browsers are still the gateway to internet for users, but will they retain their place in the new order? And what role will blockchain play in the future of internet browsing?

It all started with the notion of ​​decentralization, and Bitcoin became the embodiment of this phenomenon. Cryptocurrencies are designed to preserve the anonymity and financial independence of users. That is why the most active companies are already undertaking cryptographic developments in this area. 

Recently, the Opera browser officially launched a blockchain browser, called Opera Touch, for gadgets operating on Apple’s iOS software, as it was initially available for only PCs and Android devices at the end of 2018. A distinctive feature of the browser is the presence of all the necessary infrastructure to work with the Web 3.0. In particular, the program is equipped with a built-in cryptocurrency wallet and provides support services for decentralized applications (DApps) working on Ethereum. The Opera browser allows users to search blockchain apps via URLs and has a built-in virtual private network (VPN). However, multiple other platforms already have different and established solutions. A representative of the Opera browser, Julia Szynzielorz, explained what Opera Touch can give to its users:

“We believe that the Web of today will be the interface to the decentralized web of tomorrow (Web 3.0). With built-in crypto wallet, the browser has the potential to renew and extend its important role as a tool to access information, make transactions online and manage users’ online identities in a way that gives them more control. That's why integrated blockchain technologies across our browsers — on Android, iOS (Opera Touch) and in the PC browser which accesses the crypto wallet in one of the mobile browsers.”

She added that blockchain can be used in the new browser not only for saving digital assets but also for helping users to ease their searches on the web, saying:

“Already now, we also have a dapp explorer and Web 3 integration, which means that, using Opera you can browse web 3.0 and use dApps seamlessly, by typing in or searching for their web address, and simply accessing them via the browser.”

Brave browser and BAT reward

The Brave browser was launched in 2015 by co-founder of the Mozilla Project Corporation and JavaScript creator Brendan Eich. It operates on the basis of Google's Chromium engine and its source code is fully open. The browser removes ad banners and blocks pop-ups. In addition, it is integrated with a system by which users are compensated with BAT coins for watching ads that have passed the browser's screening. For these purposes, a crypto wallet is integrated into the browser. In August 2018, the browser boasted on its