The industry needs more coverage and visibility, but that’s not possible because of the complexity and insecurity of digital money. In November, the first device to solve these problems will be unveiled
Cyberpunk is no longer science fiction, but a very everyday reality. You can pay for your metro fare with your phone, you need to remember to charge your watch before you leave the house, and many apartments already have smart speakers that can order a cab or support a conversation.
Progress does not stand still, a person adjusts any thing to himself, for example, now in the market of smartphones you can buy a device for children, for the older generation, for hiking, for business, there are many – push-button, touch, push-button with touch screen and so on. The crypto industry could not avoid this area, so developers have long been engaged in the creation of a special smartphone.
In late July, Samsung Insights’ external contributor Joel Snyder wrote that smartphones are the safest for digital money because they have a secure execution environment (TEE). It has its own memory and separate, isolated storage.
Laptops or computers don’t have this luxury, so the data stored on these devices is much easier prey for hackers. However, even a secure device like a smartphone can be compromised if the wrong apps are downloaded to it.
Many marketplaces haven’t released apps for cell phones for a long time, which hackers have taken advantage of. There were several apps called Poloniex on Google play, and all of them were phishing apps, i.e. they stole users’ private data, after which attackers gained access to their funds.
Then exchanges and e-wallets started introducing official apps, but the risk was still high. The safest solution might be a smartphone specifically designed to handle cryptocurrencies.
In 2016, Israeli startup Sirin Labs introduced the Solarin smartphone with 256-bit text and voice encryption thanks to its KoolSpan chip. This option is activated by pressing a special button. The device was positioned as the most secure smartphone in the world, except that its price started at $13 thousand, and in the top configuration it cost about $17 thousand.
Not everyone was ready to spend so much money for a new device from Sirin, so the next year the company presented a new smartphone Finney and at the end of the ICO it raised $157 million for its creation. This gadget is designed specifically for people who use cryptocurrencies. It runs on the company’s own Android-based Shield OS.
According to the creators, the smartphone will be able to work with IOTA cryptocurrency and with tokens created on the Tangle blockchain. It will also interact with the Cardano platform. The new operating system supports decentralized applications, for which the smartphone will have a marketplace like Google Play or the App Store.
Users will be able to distribute Finney’s computing power on the blockchain network, for example, to mine. The device has already received 25,000 pre-orders, and Lionel Messi has become the brand’s ambassador.
Sirin Labs is assisted in the development of the smartphone by FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group, which assembles the iPhone. Finney is priced at $999 on par with Apple devices, and its specs include a Snapdragon 845, 6GB of RAM and 128 permanent, and an SD card slot for up to 2TB. The smartphone has a six-inch Gorilla Glass screen with an aspect ratio of 18:9, the device also contains two built-in cameras at 12 and 8 MP.
The first crypto smartphone Messi will present on November 28 at a private party in Barcelona. Mass sales of Finney will start on December 15.
Finney’s main competitor in the blockchain smartphone space is HTC’s Exodus. The Taiwanese company has not been doing well over the last year, selling 68% fewer devices in June 2018 than during the same period in 2017.
Much less is known about HTC’s crypto smartphone, with information that it only began development of the Exodus in the spring of 2018. Company executives refer to the device as a cold wallet with a recovery key, with no further details available at this time.
In late July, Litecoin cryptocurrency creator Charlie Lee joined the gadget’s development team. He noted that the smartphone will support the altcoin through the Lighting Network protocol. The specialist also called the device safe and stressed that it is necessary for the mass adoption of blockchain technology.
In addition to Litecoin, Exodus should support Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dfinity. Project executives promised to provide more information about the features in the third quarter of 2018, and a website was launched for the smartphone, inviting users to sign up for a newsletter to receive updates on the project’s development.
According to Exodus executive Phil Chen, the smartphone will be priced at the Finney price level, which is about $1,000. He added that the device will be distributed in all key markets other than China.
Also in March 2018, it was reported online that Huawei was planning to release a blockchain smartphone optimized to work with decentralized applications. Representatives of the Chinese company held a meeting with Sirin Labs developers, but did not give any comments on this issue.
There is little information about HTC’s blockchain smartphone, while almost nothing is known about Huawei’s developments. The Fynney, which has already received thousands of pre-orders and has officially announced a sales start date, stands out positively against them.