The web platform Opera has revealed its plans to launch a noncustodial stablecoin wallet integrated into its mobile web browser that will be made available to its user base in Africa.
On Sept. 13, Opera introduced MiniPay, which is built on the Celo blockchain and will allow African users to send or receive stablecoins using their existing mobile numbers.
Exciting news live from @dappcon_berlin's mainstage! cc: @RegenRene @jorgenarnesen @afishinparis Charles Hamel & Rosette Belesi.— Celo (@CeloOrg) September 13, 2023
It's finally here! We've partnered with global web innovator @Opera to launch @MiniPay––a first-of-its-kind stablecoin wallet built on Celo to onboard… pic.twitter.com/sEUp0yCKQe
Opera began operating in Africa 17 years ago and now has over 100 million users on the continent. The launch of MiniPay will begin in the coming months and first start in Nigeria.
Jørgen Arnesen, executive vice president for mobile at Opera, commented:
“Users in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa have indicated lingering concerns about high fees, unreliable service uptimes, a lack of transparency around transaction progress and a lack of access to mobile data.”
The new MiniPay wallet will operate with sub-cent fees and onboard and back up wallets through users’ Google credentials.
It also has integrated with local payment methods, including Airtime and M-Pesa, along with traditional bank transfers to allow users to add and withdraw stablecoins from the wallet into a local currency.
Arnesen told Cointelegraph that Opera developed the MiniPay browser as a “unique, data-saving technology that allows users to surf the web and gain access to information without having to expend a major part of their monthly income.”
Celo also has a strong African user base and said the integration “opens the door” for more Ethereum-compatible decentralized applications to be built for MiniPay.
Arnesen also mentioned that as the product launches, MiniPay will support Mento’s stable Celo Dollar (cUSD), which tracks the value of the U.S. dollar.
“This way, we are not confusing users with multiple currencies at a time, as would be the case in a regular crypto wallet.“
In April, Opera announced a new generative artificial intelligence integration into its then-latest browser update. The in-browser AI feature, called AI Prompt, gives users “contextual prompts” for web pages or highlighted text.
In December 2022, it launched a suite of security tools with the aim of protecting users against “malicious Web3 actors.”
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