Opera's Android Web Browser Adds Access to .Crypto Domains for 80M Users

The “blockchain-ready” web browser has added support for Unstoppable Domains’ decentralized .crypto websites.

AccessTimeIconMar 30, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:23 a.m. UTC
Consensus 2023 Logo
Join the most important conversation in crypto and Web3 taking place in Austin, Texas, April 26-28.
Consensus 2023 Logo
Join the most important conversation in crypto and Web3 taking place in Austin, Texas, April 26-28.

Opera’s Android browser – the “blockchain-ready” web surfing app – added support on Monday for Unstoppable Domains’ decentralized .crypto websites.

The partnership grants Unstoppable Domains’ 200,000 registered .crypto domains an immediate inroad into Opera’s 80 million-strong user base. That means they can access Unstoppable’s Ethereum smart contract-registered, InterPlanetary File System-stored (IPFS) websites without leaving the browser address bar.

“It makes them a lot more useful,” Unstoppable Domains founder Brad Kam said of the .crypto domains. Previously, web users needed either Unstoppable’s eponymous browser or a Google Chrome extension to access such sites. 

From a technical standpoint, the integration marks an intriguing milestone for Opera, which started browsing .coms, .nets, .orgs and others over 26 years ago. Standard browsers get sites’ IP addresses from Domain Name System (DNS) servers, the internet’s near-universal equivalent of a phone book. But there’s no DNS entry for .crypto, according to Unstoppable.

Kam explained that Opera’s integrated browser uses a fundamentally different process to access .cryptos sites. That’s because .crypto domains scatter their web content across IPFS’ distributed host network and store the content locators – IPFS hashes – in Ethereum smart contracts.

“When I view a website, the browser is looking up the Ethereum blockchain itself in order to find my website content, instead of looking it up on the DNS servers,” Kam said in an email to CoinDesk.

He compared decentralized IPFS storage to Amazon Web Services’ global server network, but said IPFS’ reliance on distributed computers instead of a single corporate entity’s servers make .crypto websites censorship resistant. 

“You have lots of copies, so there’s no one person or one group to ask to take it down,” he said. “Even if one or multiple people decide to take it down, someone else will still have it.”

Opera said in a press release it partnered with IPFS’ developer Protocol Labs for the integration. 

The browser provider said Monday it has also expanded Opera for Android’s cryptocurrency purchasing feature to the entire European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Switzerland. 


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.