Opera, a web platform, is set to revolutionize mobile web browsing in Africa by introducing MiniPay, a non-custodial stablecoin wallet integrated into its mobile browser. MiniPay, built on the Celo blockchain, allows African users to effortlessly send and receive stablecoins using their mobile numbers.
The initial launch will take place in Nigeria, but the company’s extensive presence in Africa, where it boasts over 100 million users, means that this innovation is poised to make a significant impact across the continent.
Jorgen Arnesen, the Executive Vice President for Mobile at Opera, emphasized the motivations behind this innovative venture, stating:
“Users in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa have indicated lingering concerns about high fees, unreliable service uptimes, a lack of transparency around transaction progress, and a lack of access to mobile data.”
MiniPay aims to address these concerns by offering sub-cent fees and providing the convenience of onboarding and backup wallets through users’ Google credentials. Moreover, the platform has seamlessly integrated with local payment methods, including Airtime and MPesa, as well as traditional bank transfers. This integration will empower users to effortlessly convert stablecoins into their local currency and vice versa.
Arnesen emphasized the motivations behind this innovative venture, stating, “Users in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa have indicated remaining concerns about high fees, unreliable service uptimes, a lack of transparency around transaction progress, and a lack of access to mobile data.”
The integration with the Celo blockchain also opens doors for Ethereum-compatible decentralized apps (dApps) to flourish within MiniPay. This move further solidifies Celo’s presence in Africa, aligning with the continent’s growing interest in blockchain technology.
To ensure user-friendly navigation, MiniPay initially supports the Celo Dollar (cUSD), a stable asset tracking the value of the USD on the Celo blockchain. This approach simplifies the user experience by avoiding the complexity of handling multiple currencies simultaneously, which is typical in regular crypto wallets.
Jack Dorsey has a strong attachment to Africa as in a report by Todayq News on September 5, 2023, Jack Dorsey’s Btrust acquired Qala, a group dedicated to training Bitcoin and Lighting engineers in Africa. The goal is to promote the development and education of Bitcoin open-source engineers from regions in the Global South. Also in December 2022, Dorsey’s company Stillmark invested $2 million in a Kenyan company Gridless to expand its Bitcoin mining operations across Africa.