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Opera Web Browser Crypto Wallet to Expand Services to iOS Users

Opera plans to expand its built-in crypto wallet to iOS users after a successful experience with Android.

Major web browser Opera has announced the upcoming launch of Opera Touch for iOS, according to an official press release published Tuesday, March 5. Opera Touch is a Web 3 browser with an integrated crypto wallet and support for Ethereum (ETH) and interactions with decentralized applications (DApps).

Back in December, Opera launched its “Web 3-ready” browser with a built-in crypto wallet for Android users. Opera explains the decision to expand its services to iOS as the result of the successful integration of the crypto wallet and DApp explorer for Android.

Although the launch date of Opera Touch for iOS had not been stated, the press release notes that users can sign up to test the app through its site.

On Feb. 6, Opera added a new service that allowed users in  Sweden, Norway and Denmark to purchase Ethereum through the Android version of the browser. The new service was enabled via a partnership between Opera and brokerage firm Safello. Safello, according to Opera, is registered with the Financial Supervisory Authority in Sweden.

Back in July 2018, Opera announced the addition of a built-in cryptocurrency wallet to its browser. Product manager Charles Hamel then said that Opera was “ the first major browser to open up to Web 3.0.”

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Opera Releases ‘Web 3-Ready’ Android Browser With Ethereum, DApp Support

Opera has launched its “Web 3-ready” browser for Android, with crypto wallet integration, support for Ethereum and interactions with decentralized applications.

Opera has launched its “Web 3-ready” browser for Android, with crypto wallet integration, support for Ethereum (ETH) and interactions with decentralized applications (DApps). The launch was announced at the Hard Fork Decentralized event in London Dec. 13, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph.

Charles Hamel, product manager of Opera Crypto, has outlined that the new product aims to remove the “friction” involved in “using cryptocurrencies online and accessing Web 3 via special apps or extensions,” in a bid to make the emerging technologies more “mainstream.”  

Hamel explained Opera’s choice to support Ethereum and the Ethereum Web3 API as being based on the perception that the protocol “has the largest community of developers building Dapps” and significant “momentum behind it.”

Krystian Kolondra, executive vice president for Browsers at Opera, has said the move is a bid to “accelerate the transition of cryptocurrencies from speculation and investment to being used for actual payments and transactions in our users’ daily lives,” with Hamel adding that:

“[Opera] believe[s] all browsers will eventually integrate some kind of wallet, which will enable new business models to emerge on the web.”

Opera first announced it would be integrating a built-in crypto wallet for its desktop browser in early August, after launching a mobile crypto wallet as part of its beta Opera for Android in July. In September, the firm released an interoperable “Labs” beta version for Android with integrated wallet, Web 3.0 and DApp functionality.

“Web 3.0” is a term that was initially coined to refer to the ambition for the development of a semantic internet, and is increasingly used to refer to the evolution of a more intelligent, open and distributed internet, which could involve the use of blockchain, decentralized computing and cryptocurrencies.

As previously reported, Opera partnered with blockchain advisory and financial services firm Ledger Capital this September to explore possible blockchain applications across its products and ecosystem.

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Report: Some Crypto Mining Apps Remain in Google Play Store Despite Recent Ban

According to a report by the Next Web published on August 28, several cryptocurrency mining apps remain in the Google Play Store despite the ban.

On July 27, Google banned crypto-mining apps from its Play Store. An update to Google’s developer policy read that “we don’t allow apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices.” The company gave mining app developers a 30-day grace period to revise their products in order to comply with the new terms.

The deferral period has passed, but some apps that enable on-device mining are still available on the Play Store, according to the Next Web. The site reportedly found eight apps, three of which have been removed. NeoNeonMiner, Crypto Miner PRO, Pickaxe Miner, and Pocket Miner are still live on the store, while Bitcoin Miner reportedly claims its offering complies with the terms introduced by Google.

While MinerGate has been removed from the store, its developers told Hard Fork that the app’s latest iteration deleted its on-device mining features in order to comply with Google’s rules. MinerGate told Hard Fork in an email:

“Mining on your phone directly was among the core features of the MinerGate app before the last changes in Google Play Development policies. With the last update, we are removing this functionality to meet the updated requirements.”

Earlier this month, Google Play Store hosted a reported Ethereum (ETH) scam application. Lukas Stefanko, a malware researcher from Slovakia, reportedly found a fraudulent “Ethereum” app on Google Play that had been offered for purchase at price of €335 or around $388. According to the researcher, the scam intended to dupe uninformed buyers into purchasing the app, who mistook it for the original Ethereum cryptocurrency.

In April, Google also announced that it is removing mining extensions from its Chrome Web Store after “90 percent” supposedly failed to comply with its rules. The move reportedly came in response to analysis of malicious “cryptojacking” present in extensions.

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Ethereum Scam App Appears on Google Play Store, Malware Researcher Reports

Android’s Google Play Store has recently become a spot for hosting another reported Ethereum (ETH) scam application, The Next Web reports August 21.

Lukas Stefanko, a malware researcher from Slovakia, found a fraudulent “Ethereum” application on Google Play that had been allegedly offered for purchase at price of €335 or around $388, according to The Next Web.

In an August 20 tweet, the researcher noted that buying the app is “not the same” as an Ethereum purchase, implying that his recent discovery is a crypto scam intended to defraud users by mimicking the original altcoin Ethereum, which is worth around $290 at press time.

Scam

Screenshot from Lukas Stefanko’s Twitter

Stefanko’s tweet shows that the scam application, which was described through Google Translate as “just a Ethereum,” was developed by so-called “Google Commerce Ltd,” and has managed to amass over 100 installs since the last update in August 2017 by the time of the report.

The genuine name of the developer of Google-backed applications on Google Play Store is “Google LLC.” At press time, the application is unavailable on Google Play.

On July 27, Google had banned crypto mining apps on its Play Store, only allowing remote mining applications. According to The Next Web, despite the recent ban, multiple illicit apps like JSEcoin are still appearing on the store, noting that Google developers have 30 days from the date of policy changes to comply.

Earlier in April, the tech giant had also announced the ban of all mining extensions from its Chrome Web Store, as well as all browser extensions to mine cryptocurrency. And in March, Google followed Facebook’s move by announcing a ban on all crypto-related ads of all kinds, a step that reportedly subsequently affected the crypto markets.

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Blockchain Phones Calling the Future of Telecommunications

The emergence of blockchain technology has piqued the interest of a number of different sectors across global society. From finance, politics, economics, automotive and technology, blockchain is starting to take root. It is now being seen that communications could be the latest sector to benefit from this technological revolution.

There has been a predictive report that came out on July 11 from Marketwatch that is suggesting that blockchain technology will contribute as much as $1 billion to the telecommunications sector in the next five years.

When delving deeper into the growth that is already being seen by the telecommunications sector thanks to blockchain — as well as the move toward things like blockchain-powered phones — it is actually an unsurprising number.

If something like the automotive industry is already experimenting and discovering new use cases for blockchain technology — from blockchain DApps for Porsche, cobalt ledgers for BMW and safe-driving reward programs for Mercedes — then it should be expected that phones would soon follow suit.

Enter the blockchain-powered phone

Phone manufacturers are constantly on the cutting edge of innovation and technology. This is evident in the yearly releases of bigger and better iPhones and Samsung phones — for example, as these two giants of the space always look to one up each other.

But, there are now phone manufacturers that are trying to leave the competitive battle behind and start a new blockchain-based battle, which will see companies creating phones that are purposefully built for cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

However, it is not only the hardware — i.e., the phones — that will have a touch of cryptocurrency about them, the manner in which business is being conducted by these new blockchain communications industry leaders will also be familiar.

Sirin Labs’ November offering

Sirin labs is a Swiss-based smartphone developer which has a project in the works that will see a blockchain-based phone come to market in November of this year. The funding for such a project has come from an ICO.

Sirin managed to raise $157.8 million in their ICO, with the majority of that — $110 million — coming in the first 24 hours. This shows there is quite a keen interest in this project and the potential it holds going forward for phone manufacturers.

Finney, as the phone will be known, will be on the shelves with a price tag of $1,000.

What makes this blockchain phone different from regular phones is that, although it will be Android, it will run on the Sirin OS and include a cold storage cryptocurrency wallet, a token conversion service and a DApp store for blockchain-based apps.

However, the phone can only be purchased using Sirin’s crypto token (based on the ERC-20 token), and 40 percent of the 573 million total tokens it created during the recent ICO have already been sold.

HTC offering the first native blockchain option

Sirin is not the only company forging the way for a blockchain-based phone. HTC, the well-known Taiwanese consumer electronics company, is also looking at putting out a blockchain-powered phone.

HTC call their offering the HTC Exodus, according to Phil Chen, who is responsible for all blockchain and cryptocurrency-related initiatives at HTC, including Exodus.

“We are excited to be supporting underlying protocols such as Bitcoin, Lightning Networks, Ethereum, Dfinity, and more,” said Chen on the integration of blockchain applications with the phone’s hardware.

Like the Sirin Labs phone, the Exodus will reportedly feature universal cryptocurrency wallets as well as a secure hardware enclave.

Huawei to enter the scene also

With HTC building their phone, and Sirin just a few months from releasing theirs, even Huawei is making their first steps toward a blockchain-based phone.

Again, looking to build a phone that will be able to support DApps, Huawei is allegedly seeking the license for the open-source operating system Sirin OS. This report comes from an unconfirmed source, but is not outside the realm of imagination when looking at the way in which the space is building momentum.

Not just phones

It is not just phone companies directly who are looking to make the move into blockchain, but rather the entire telecommunications industry. While HTC and Sirin work on delivering their blockchain phones, the Opera web browser recently launched a built-in cryptocurrency wallet.

Phone

Image source: Opera YouTube

But even before the launch of a native blockchain product, the web browser was aware of the blockchain space and its challenges and promises when it included anti-crypto jacking software back in January.

IBM, another leader in technology — as well as an emerging force in blockchain technology — is also starting to develop the potential for blockchain in the telecommunications space.

In January, IBM wrote a blog post about how blockchain can help the telecommunications business, identifying its ability to streamline internal processes, build blockchain-based digital services, and provide trust, security and transparency in business ecosystems, including the IoT:

“Blockchain is currently one of the most talked-about technologies. Across industries, organizations are exploring blockchain’s potential impact in their space and how they can benefit from this emerging technology. The communications service provider (CSP) industry is no exception.”

IBM even went so far as to conduct a survey of 174 C-suite executives from the telecommunications industry and found that 36 percent of communications service-providing organizations are already considering or actively engaged with blockchains.

Other findings from the survey, which show where the executives have identified the potential for blockchain in their sectors, demonstrates a strong affiliation with transparency, trust and accuracy.

IBM

Image source: IBM

41 percent of the executives believed that blockchain could support their enterprise strategy by ensuring data control and accuracy, while 38 percent believed it would be good for increased trust in transaction reliability.

Furthermore, 34 percent identified its potential to improve security against fraud and cybercrime, while 28 percent of them said it would reduce transaction cost and increase transaction speed.

The time to enter the market

If the MarketWatch report is correct, and blockchain technology in telecoms will explode from a $46.6 million industry in 2018 to one worth $993.8 million by 2023, then it would appear this is a good starting point for many companies.

The space is changing for telecommunications. Security concerns are rising — says the 132-page report — as well as the increasing support for OSS/BSS (operations support systems/ business support systems) processes.

There is a clear shift in the telecommunications sector that can be addressed with this burgeoning technology. But, as it is still a young technology, there are a lot of kinks that need to be worked out. However, being at the forefront with blockchain phones and implementing blockchains to help with security behind the scenes, a number of companies can become leaders in the space. as it moves beyond the likes of Apple and Samsung.

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Crypto Company Change Launches Zero Fee Trading App

As competition heats up in the crypto industry companies are increasingly cutting trading fees to lure new customers to their platforms.

Singapore founded Change has launched a crypto trading and conversion app with no fees. The firm, currently based in Estonia, is marketing the app under the name of “Change Wallet” for consumers based in the European Economic Area. The target market is interesting, according to an ING survey in June two thirds of Europeans had heard about cryptocurrencies and a quarter of them planned on owning some in the future.

Change raised $17.5 million in its initial coin offering last year and claims to have 5,600 contributors. Its mission is “To aggregate all financial services in one sophisticated platform, enabling payments, transfers, and investments worldwide. Change is set to simplify and modernise mobile finance, focusing on security, efficiency, and equal access to opportunities,” according to the website.

According to reports the app will initially support Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and Tether. It will be available on Android and iOS. Change CEO Kristjan Kangro said in an interview that cryptocurrencies will soon be used just as much as traditional money by the people when paying for good and services.

Former CEO of DHL Global Forwarding and member of the Change advisory team, Roger Crook, added;

“I’m backing this project because I think it’s got an extremely great future, and I see that Change is going to have challenges going forward. I have no doubt that this business is going to thrive and grow globally over the coming years.”

Change has become the latest crypto startup to offer zero fee trading. US based Robinhood launched its zero fee trading platform in February and has recently added Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash support. The Robinhood app started off limited but can now be used across 17 states. The firm raised $363 million in May during a funding round to expand its crypto platform country-wide.

Other corporations such as Japan’s Line have offered zero fees for the first month as an incentive for new users. Line launched its crypto exchange Bitbox this week with support for almost 30 cryptocurrencies.

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Opera Adds Built-in Crypto Wallet to Mobile Browser

As the battle of the browsers wages on, platforms seek new ways to entice users onto their software. Norwegian browser provider Opera has jumped onto the crypto bandwagon by offering a browser based crypto wallet for smartphones.

Cryptocurerncy wallets are nothing new however this is the first of its kind to come built-in from a web browser provider. According to reports the new ‘Crypto Wallet’ is still in beta and will be made available for Opera’s Android browser. Being integrated into the browser enhances user friendliness as switching between browsing and crypto trading is simplified.

The company has released a short video explaining how to use the new wallet;

[embedded content]

According to Charles Hamel, product lead on Opera Crypto;

“Having a Crypto Wallet in the browser brings the cash experience to the world of online payments. Paying with the Crypto Wallet is like sending digital cash straight from your phone, and we’ve just made it easier.” He added “Our hope is that this will accelerate the transition of cryptocurrencies from speculation and investment to being used for actual payments and transactions in our users’ daily lives,”

The wallet has a simple user interface that does not use PIN numbers or passwords to authorize transactions. Instead it uses the device’s unlock screen code such as a fingerprint. With Ethereum Web3 API integration the system can support dApps, tokens and crypto collectibles. It includes a shortcut to a select number of dApps and games based on Ethereum in addition to a range of crypto merchandise.

Opera has hinged the success of this product on the complexity of using other crypto wallets, its ease of use will be the draw. Hamel added that “This opens up new possibilities for merchants and content creators alike,” The new wallet is integrated with Coinbase which enables users to pay for items and services in stores that support cryptocurrencies. Sending and receiving is as easy as generating a QR code and it forges a way to make crypto easier to deal with for the uninitiated.

Opera has previously dabbled in crypto this year. In March the firm updated the browser’s currency converter to include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, and in January it upgraded software to include anti-mining malware protection for Opera mini and Opera Android.

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Nano Android Wallet Users Advised to Move Funds Due to Security Flaw

Users of cryptocurrency Nano who downloaded a new Android app must create a new wallet and move their funds after the discovery of a security vulnerability, according to a June 21 tweet Nano.

Developers made an urgent appeal to users June 21, asking them to relocate funds to a wallet which had a different seed:

Nano, which made headlines earlier this year when hackers stole vast amounts of the altcoin from Italian exchange BitGrail, had only just received support from hardware wallet Ledger earlier this month.

The Android wallet, which developers released just a day earlier along with implementations for iOS, Mac, Windows and Linux, had survived just hours before being pulled.

While an official statement about the issue has yet to emerge, Nano executives reassured users on social media that the vulnerability was localized and would not affect users of other wallets.

“We will have a patch shortly,” a Reddit post from Troy Retzer, Nano’s chief of communications and public relations claimed.

In a separate post, Retzer added the problem was “not as bad as originally thought.”

Prices of Nano’s token appeared to deflate after reaching recent highs of $3.21 June 21, trading around $2.57 as of press time.

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Blockchain Platform to Challenge App Stores With ‘Borderless Payments’

A new platform is going to allow anyone to establish their own eCommerce content store and receive payments from anywhere in the world – reducing costs for their consumers and opening the door to fast-growing emerging markets. The platform would allow service providers and other entreprises to build up applications or services on it’s blockchain.

Bezant claims that many small businesses and individuals are missing out on opportunities to thrive because they cannot accept alternative payment methods. Credit cards and bank transfers are the most commonly used and accepted means of payment worldwide, but unbanked consumers without access to these services are left isolated. This means businesses are missing out on large numbers of potential clients who have money to spend.

The company says its “dynamic” blockchain-based system will help services with significant numbers of users and subscribers – such as social networks, game developers and video streaming sites – benefit from an “end-to-end distribution and payment platform” where transaction fees are greatly reduced.

According to Bezant’s white paper, major players in the global market such as Apple’s App Store are putting small providers at a disadvantage. Its research claims 94 percent of total revenues on the platform are dominated by just one percent of content developers. Many fledgling providers are left with less than 50 percent of their net revenues once marketing fees and Apple’s commissions have been deducted – and on top of this, “unfair policies” mean it can take weeks until this payment reaches their account.

The company cites research from Statista which values the digital payments industry at $3.6 trln this year – and projected to grow at a compound rate of 13.5 percent each year until 2022. The proportion of transactions completed on smartphones is also increasing, and Bezant intends to ensure all of these payments can be “borderless.”

“Instantaneous, exchangeable, global, convenient”

Bezant’s blockchain service platform will be made available to merchants and consumers worldwide through the Jehmi Payment Network – described as a network where “hundreds of payment methods” are aggregated in one place. It believes this solution will transcend limitations found in emerging markets and empower sellers with the tools they need to maximize revenues.

As well as cash payments, bank transfers, prepaid cards and billing through SMS, Jehmi will also accept Bezant tokens, the platform’s own cryptocurrency. The company believes its blockchain will be able to accommodate up to 1,000 transactions per second – more than double the number of all paid apps sold globally in 2017. Shoppers will not be charged transfer fees when they use Bezant tokens, a gesture which the company hopes will incentivize adoption.

The company says using Jehmi “enables local payments on a global scale,” as both digital and physical goods can be purchased using the fiat currencies of emerging markets. A hard wallet feature will also ensure that Bezant tokens can be stored safely offline.

Bezant also hopes to challenge major app stores through the Jehmi Content Platform, where content providers, end users and distribution partners will enjoy a “better ecosystem” for delivering digital content.

The year ahead

Most of the company’s staff are focused on development in its studio in Seoul, South Korea – a country which is a hotbed of activity for cryptocurrencies. Recent research reported by Cointelegraph shows 21.6 percent of respondents in the country are aware of digital currencies – and almost a quarter of survey participants in their twenties are eager to invest.

Bezant’s chief cryptocurrency officer is Dae-sik Kim, the founder and former CEO of Bithumb – one of the world’s largest exchanges in terms of daily trading volume.

Bezant’s token sale is now underway. The company said that it reached its pre-sale target of $16.8 mln an hour after the token sale opened and had received $126 mln by the time it concluded. A pre-sale bonus round of $4 mln was concluded in under five minutes.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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HTC Reveals Plans To Launch Blockchain-Powered Smartphone

Consumer electronics corporation HTC has unveiled “the first native blockchain phone”, HTC Exodus, which will launch with support for multiple blockchains, including Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) networks, PCMag reported May 15. HTC Vive creator Phil Chen announced the forthcoming project at the Consensus conference in New York City today.

Chen highlighted that the upcoming phone will support “multiple blockchain protocols,” such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Lightning Network (LN), and Dfinity network. He said the company’s mission is to support the entire blockchain ecosystem in order to “help underlying protocols expand their base of dedicated nodes.”

The Android mobile device will reportedly feature a universal cryptocurrency wallet as well as a “secure hardware enclave.” Chen also stressed that the HTC Exodus would provide high standards of security and data protection:

“I want to see a world where the end consumers can truly own their data—browsing history, identity, assets, wallets, emails, messaging—without the need for central authorities.”

While Chen did not specify either the estimated price of Exodus or the expected release date, he said that the company may consider cryptocurrency as a means of payment for the upcoming multiple blockchain-powered phone.

HTC has seen its global market share in mobile devices shrink from nearly 11 percent in 2011 to less than one percent last year. While HTC’s high-end smartphone production could reach 500,000 to 1 mln this year, that number pales in comparison to Samsung, who reportedly shipped 20 mln units of the Galaxy S8 in 2017.

HTC is not the first to develop a blockchain-based mobile phone. In April, the blockchain-oriented OS developer and supplier Sirin Labs found a manufacturer for its blockchain smartphone. FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology, has agreed to help develop the phone. Foxconn is a giant in electronics contract manufacturing, with clients including Apple, Google, Cisco, Huawei, and Amazon.