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MiniPay’s Milestone Moment: Opera Cryptocurrency Platform Scales to 1M Users Across Africa


Global web innovator Opera recently announced their payments platform, Opera MiniPay, has amassed over 1 million users across Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana. This milestone, achieved with partners Celo Foundation and Mento Labs, comes as Opera continues its push to expand access to digital assets in Africa.

Launched in September 2022, MiniPay is a dollar-pegged stablecoin wallet seamlessly built into Opera’s popular Mini browser. By leveraging both blockchain infrastructure and Opera’s vast mobile user base, it aims to lower barriers to decentralized finance across the continent.

Specifically, MiniPay enables instant, low-fee transfers between any phone number using digital dollar equivalents. Simple onboarding powered by Google Key Backup, along with deep integration, allows users to easily store, send or receive funds. MiniPay also helps users earn money through cashback rewards or facilitating payments.

To enable this, the platform runs on Celo, an open blockchain optimized for carbon-neutral mobile usage. Opera and Celo share a goal of reshaping global finance via “permissionless payments” accessible by anyone with a smartphone.

This aligns with a major need in Africa, where over 70% of sub-Saharan adults lack bank accounts. Unstable national currencies also erode purchasing power and savings. Stablecoins like Celo’s cUSD, which tracks the U.S dollar, provide reliability amidst this uncertainty.

Recognizing this opportunity, Opera sought to leverage decentralized solutions for the underbanked through an intuitive, mobile-centric offering. Hundreds of millions already use its lightweight browsers across Africa, providing a readymade user base.

Smooth user experience was vital for overcoming crypto’s often confusing interfaces. Opera developed easy sign-up using just phone numbers and Google credentials. Behind the scenes, partners like Bitmama and Fonbnk enabled fiat currency conversion into cUSD.

Additionally, Mento Lab’s token bridging infrastructure allowed interoperability between Celo and other blockchains. These synergistic collaborations brought together specialized expertise across an integrated platform.

The results are promising so far. In just five months, MiniPay has scaled to seven figure users even with limited marketing. Adoption continues rising exponentially.

Opera EVP Jørgen Arnesen attributes their success to solving real pain points around financial access. High fees, unreliable uptime, lack of transparency around transfers – these issues prevail despite existing solutions. By merging crypto’s advantages with intuitive design, MiniPay drives mainstream mobile adoption.

With growth capital from recent funding rounds, Opera seems poised to boost MiniPay engagement across Africa and beyond. Mento and Celo also plan to provide infrastructure and co-marketing support as adoption balloons.

In summary, Opera and its partners represent a pioneering attempt at decentralized financial inclusion. Making digital currencies work at global scale is challenging, but by combining specialized expertise with local market knowledge, MiniPay has charted a promising path forward. Its million-strong uptake highlights blockchain’s potential to empower populations left behind by traditional finance.



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