Opera Browser Unveils MiniPay Stablecoin Wallet for African Users
The rollout of MiniPay is set to commence in the coming months, with its initial launch in Nigeria.
By Anna B Kiwanuka
Opera, the popular web platform, has announced its forthcoming launch of MiniPay, a noncustodial stablecoin wallet integrated into its mobile web browser, specifically designed for its user base in Africa. MiniPay, built on the Celo blockchain, will enable African users to send and receive stablecoins using their existing mobile phone numbers.
Opera has been operating in Africa for 17 years, amassing a user base of over 100 million people on the continent. The rollout of MiniPay is set to commence in the coming months, with its initial launch in Nigeria.
Jørgen Arnesen, Executive Vice President for Mobile at Opera, explained, “Users in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa have expressed ongoing concerns about high transaction fees, unreliable service uptimes, a lack of transparency regarding transaction progress, and limited access to mobile data.”
MiniPay aims to address these concerns by offering sub-cent transaction fees and integrating with users’ Google credentials to facilitate wallet onboarding and backup. It has also incorporated local payment methods, including Airtime and M-Pesa, as well as traditional bank transfers, enabling users to easily convert stablecoins to local currency and vice versa.
Arnesen highlighted that Opera developed the MiniPay browser as a data-saving technology that allows users to browse the web and access information without consuming a significant portion of their monthly income.
Furthermore, Celo, with its substantial African user base, views the integration as a gateway to the development of Ethereum-compatible decentralized applications for MiniPay.
Arnesen added that upon its launch, MiniPay will support Mento’s stable Celo Dollar (cUSD), which is pegged to the U.S. dollar’s value. This approach minimizes user confusion by eliminating the need to juggle multiple currencies within the wallet.
In April, Opera introduced generative artificial intelligence integration in its latest browser update, called AI Prompt, offering users contextual prompts for web pages and highlighted text. Additionally, in December 2022, Opera rolled out a suite of security tools aimed at safeguarding users against malicious actors in the emerging Web3 landscape.