Opera now enables users to access decentralized web pages through a partnership with Unstoppable Domains, a tech firm backed by prominent Bitcoin (BTC) advocate Tim Draper.
The collaboration entails Opera’s integration of Unstoppable Domain’s .crypto domain extension, according to an announcement shared with Cointelegraph on March 26. This will allow the browser’s users to surf decentralized websites, as well as make cryptocurrency payments.
No more middleman
As the announcement further explains, blockchain domains are stored by the owner instead of by registrar firms, and decentralized websites are stored on peer-to-peer networks, not cloud services. This makes it possible to conduct transactions without a middleman, as well as avoid censorship.
Unstoppable Domains told Cointelegraph that the development will affect the speed of the internet connection as, over time, a distributed network is more robust, has far better uptime and will reduce the risk of incidents like DDoS attacks.
What about countries with internet censorship?
Unstoppable Domains noted that, while decentralized domains can help people avoid censorship from the publishing side, they do little to aid viewers in jurisdictions that face censorship, surveillance and de-anonymization issues:
“Just as with the current web, if users are facing those types of issues they would need to use VPNs or a similar tool. Decentralized websites solve a user’s ability to publish — it’s on the publishing side rather than on the viewing side. Right now, you can't publish using a traditional domain registrar if you're in a place that is limiting free speech. Whereas, with decentralized website tools, you could. So it’s about the publishing and not the viewing.”
Blockchain-based browsers go mainstream
The development ostensibly marks the first time a mainstream browser has integrated a domain that is not part of the traditional domain name system. Last October, Opera also became the first major browser that allows making payments with Bitcoin (BTC) directly inside the browser.
Meanwhile, Unstoppable Domains has rolled out its own blockchain-based browser to simplify access to the decentralized web. Unstoppable Domains’ websites are stored in a user’s wallet, while the content is stored on the InterPlanetary File System or other decentralized storage networks.