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Browser battle: Brave and Opera compete for crypto users

#crypto #bitcoin

Opera is a free web browser that was launched in 1995. The browser is available for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux and was developed by the Norway-based technology company Opera Software.

Opera is especially popular in emerging markets. 120 million of its 350 million users, for example, are based in Africa, where mobile browsing is the dominant means of accessing the internet.

Opera goes crypto

Opera became the first browser to add native cryptocurrency support in July 2018. In a blog post, Opera announced that its popular Android browser would now come with a built-in Ethereum wallet that would not only enable users to send, receive, and store ETH and ERC20 tokens but also provide the ability to interact with Ethereum Dapps.

The launch of the beta version of Opera’s crypto-friendly mobile browser came only days after it was made public that leading bitcoin mining company Bitmain had bought a controlling stake in the Norwegian company.

The public version of Opera with Crypto Wallet for Android was released in December 2018.

In June 2019, Opera announced that its Opera Touch browser for Mac iOS now also comes with a built-in Ethereum wallet.

In the following month, the company announced that it had added Bitcoin and Tron support to its Android browser. Android users can now also store, send, and receive BTC as well as TRX and TRX tokens natively in the Opera browser.

Opera Vs Brave

Competing with Opera is Brave, which is positioning itself as the browser that protects user privacy.

California-based Brave Software Inc. launched the Brave browser in 2016 with an ad-blocking feature that increases website loading speeds. Brave can load sites twice as fast as Chrome and Firefox on desktop and even faster on mobile. Brave’s unique proposition is that its servers don’t store user data and Brave says it will never sell user data to third parties.

Brave has a cryptocurrency-based revenue-sharing model that enables users to monetize their attention by getting paid to view ads.

In 2017, Brave conducted a successful ICO where it sold $35 million worth of its Basic Attention Token (BAT) to investors. Using the BAT token, Brave users can tip their favorite websites and content creators directly within the browser. Brave can automatically distribute your contributions based on how much time you spend on sites. Or users can tip sites directly. Over 10,000 sites have signed up.

In 2018, Brave added Tor functionality to add a layer of privacy, and this year, it launched Brave Ads, which enable users to earn 70% of ad revenues in the form of BAT tokens.

While the jury is still out whether Brave’s ad share and rewards model will reach the critical mass of users and advertisers it needs to become a success, the only three-year-old browser has already managed to acquire over 8 million users - many of which stem from the cryptocurrency community. Moreover, the company delivered on its ICO promise of launching a browser that enables users to get paid to view ads.

Brave has also added support for crypto wallets and the Brave browser can be connected to the Ledger and Trezor hardware wallets.

Opera has the lead

Opera’s 350 million-strong user base gives it just 2.28% of the entire browser market. Brave has significantly fewer users but is growing fast and it recently reached the 8 million monthly users milestone.

Both browsers are well behind the dominant Chrome browser that has a 64.92% market share. As the adoption of crypto grows and the trend towards privacy picks up, there is room for both browsers to pick up disgruntled Chrome users.



Alex Lielacher, Khareem Sudlow