Sep 18, 2023

Web platform Opera just launched a stablecoin wallet built on the Celo blockchain, that aims to onboard mobile users across the continent of Africa to Web3.

Video transcript

Web platform. Opera just launched a stable coin wallet that aims to onboard mobile users across the continent of Africa to web three. Joining us now is low co-founder, Renee risen reins. Welcome Renee. Hello, it's great to be on. Great to have you here. Now, let's talk about this. It's called mini pay. Um Why is this wallet? Why are you launching this in Africa? And the reason I ask you this is because there are already several ways for people to make peer to peer transactions there. Um Whether you're banked, whether you're unbanked. And so what's the value prop here? Why is this better than some of the solutions that already exist? Yes. Yeah. Last week was a really big milestone and not just for cello, but for I think web street overall with opera launching mini pay. Um and so maybe to take a step back and and explain it a little bit. It's a non custodial wallet uh that is integrated directly into opera's hugely popular uh Android browser called Opera mini. Um 90% market share. I think opera across the whole African continent has 100 million active users. And so really by integrating a wall that's directly into the browser. Um you know, really opening up um a way for more people across Africa to more easily access web stream and it's primarily a payments wallet. So it's, it's very easy to, to onboard. Um It feels very web two, you know, and you don't get exposed to any of the scary crypto and web free terms. It's very secure. Um And then it comes with a bunch of uh benefits and able by sort of the uh platform including that you are able to send payment directly to phone numbers, which is amazing because we all know our friends uh phone numbers. And so rather than uh having to use public keys or even understanding the concept of public keys that that experience is just super simple, super smooth. Um And the other benefit is that it's also really easy to buy an off ramp to fiat or, you know, mobile money. And so I think a lot of the friction that we've seen and, you know, cello has been, that cell network has been like over three years from day one, we've been very focused on real world use cases and have a very rich ecosystem of applications that's trying to bring the benefits of web three to real people. And maybe a call out here that, you know, most real people access the internet uh through a mobile phone, not through a browser, right? And so a lot of focus in the ecosystem on making stuff work on mobile. And so having opera as really in many ways, the gateway to the mobile uh internet across Africa have a native uh wall that's integrated, that works seamlessly is a, is a really big deal. What stable coin are you using as the uh as the, the means of transactions here? Uh Is there any specific ones? Yeah, there's one called cello dollars. Uh So it's a dollar stable coin. Um that's fully collateralized. It's been, it's been around for a long time. It's actually been holding up really well through all the, the recent uh stable coin sort of uh tensions in, in sort of the market. And um yeah, it makes, it makes it really easy for uh users uh to on an off ramp into cello dollars from, for example, their air time kind of mobile money. And I think that's a, that's a really a key benefit that in the past has caused a lot of friction by, by fully collateralized what, what's backing it, other stable coins, other crypto assets. Um So that at any point in time the reserve is uh fully, you know, it's fully transparent. So anyone can go to the mentor protocol, which is the protocol underlying the stable coin uh reserve and, and see sort of all the addresses, see all the reserve assets. Um It's a, it's, yeah, it's a really nice system. What countries is this launching in and is there a need for more internet infrastructure for this to actually reach scale? I want to come back to what I was saying. Um at the top of this segment, there are already ways for mobile. Um I mean for, yeah, for mobile, peer to peer payments where you don't need the internet, are you, are you dependent on more infrastructure being built? 100%? And so we've, we've noticed this and if you take, take Coba wallet as an example, um obviously very popular uh wallets um with 200 about 200 megabytes uh size. It's, it's quite large, right? Especially for people that are buying 50 megabytes, 100 megabytes at a time. Opera has a long history of giving free, you know, bandwidth to its users and uh MNI pay. And this is really, I think one of the key highlights and benefits here is only two megabytes really. So the uh even just for people to, to try this out and have the product is um is more of a no-brainer than it is with a lot of other products including other fintech wallets. Um And so, yeah, I I think the combination of ease of use being really aware of what are the needs of users on the ground. Um And a great mobile experience are really what makes um this product stand out. I'll let I'll add one more thing which is um when you, when you think about peer to peer payments. That's really just one of the use cases, right? You have, you have a fully fledged web free wallet and we're already seeing this. There's um a way to for example, just go to, you know, um popular DAS build on Sello like impact markets, learn and earn. And uh the way in in opera mini, the app is connected to the wallet is super seamless, right? So you get rid of that complicated experience of connect wallet and figuring out how do I connect and oh what is meta mask, right? All of that is abstracted away. So for the user, uh it's just, you know, very simple. I mean, coming back to the hub, you know, example you gave earlier in the show. Um my hope would be that something like this doesn't happen with mini pay because it's, it's just a much better experience that is safer for the user. And also opera has sort of a curated list of taps, right? That they've um that they're uh that they've basically looked at and that experience of allowing people not just to make peer to peer payments or easily hold dollars, which, which also is a big deal and we can talk about that. Um But actually use adapts, right? Use for example, um have a path to earn income and in stable coins, right? By popular crowd work marketplaces score, participate in uh D I solutions, even gaming, you know, uh A as, as a recent partner of uh of the OE systems. And so we're thinking about, ok, what are sort of the experience is that for us and the rest of the world are maybe much easier to access um on our desktops, right? But for someone on a, on a, on a, you know, simple Android phone, can we bring some of that same experience? And most importantly that economic um participation that web three can offer. And, and that's why I'm personally um so excited that this is launching Renee. Thanks so much for joining the show and congratulations on the lunch. Thank you. That was fellow co-founder Renee Rensburg.

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