In brief

  • Opera is the fourth-most popular web browser in the world.
  • It's become the first browser to add native support for Unstoppable Domains.

Unstoppable Domains is continuing its inexorable march across the browser landscape.

Last February, the blockchain-based Internet domain name provider launched its own browser before shipping Google Chrome and Brave browser extensions. Now, it’s fully integrated across all devices with Opera, the fourth-most popular browser in the world.

The integration means that Opera mobile or desktop users can directly access decentralized websites that are hosted on IPFS and use Unstoppable Domains’ .crypto domain. Opera says it's the only browser to offer the integration on all Windows, Mac, and Linux devices without Internet extensions or downloads.

Unstoppable Domains’ aim is to build an “uncensorable web,” preventing dictators or profit-driven companies from taking down sites they disagree with. The .crypto domain names it distributes help achieve this task.  

IPFS, short for The InterPlanetary File System, is a peer-to-peer protocol for storing and retrieving files. What makes it unique is that IPFS files aren’t stored in one place but in lots of places around the world; global users share their computing power to create a distributed network. 

Unstoppable Domains complements IPFS and other P2P networks by making them easy to access, as .crypto URLs aren’t viewable in standard browsers. (The .crypto domains also add utility by working as cryptocurrency wallets, meaning you can send someone Ethereum via typing in their URL.)

NFT domain names

There’s a bit of a twist. The domain names are non-fungible tokens (NFTs). While not as recognizable as the virtual trading cards or artwork, these Ethereum-based NFTs serve the same purpose of granting the holder of the domain ownership rights.

“Unstoppable Domains’ expansion of decentralized websites to all Opera Browser platforms gives more people a simple way to own high-functionality NFT domains and access the decentralized web,” CEO Matthew Gould said via press release.

“Making Unstoppable Domains accessible in the Opera browsers means our users can try blockchain technologies for themselves,” said Opera Product Director Maciej Kocemba. “Registering your .crypto domain, which is forever yours, is a great first step into Web3. It also gives people a chance to own an NFT.”

While Unstoppable Domains recently sold several domains for $100,000 each, many .crypto domains are still available and priced based on popularity.

Opera, meanwhile, is in a battle with Brave to attract cryptocurrency users and Chrome refugees. The Norway-based company, which added a cryptocurrency wallet and decentralized application explorer to its mobile browser in late 2018, subsequently integrated .crypto and IPFS on mobile in March 2020.