February 22, 2024

Blockchain smartphones: an overview of cryptocurrency-enabled phones

Blockchain smartphones: an overview of cryptocurrency-enabled phones

On September 10, it became known that the Korean company LG is working on launching a smartphone with supportblockchain technologies.Just days earlier, its main competitor, Samsung, announced the release of its second blockchain phone from the Galaxy line. Several releases of such devices are planned by the end of this year, and a variety of companies have joined the competition - from leading manufacturers to startups and even crypto exchanges. Mining-Cryptocurrency.ru looked into which phones can already be bought and which will soon go on sale.

In the mobile device industry, competition for users of decentralized applications and cryptocurrencies is intensifying.

As reported by the Korean portal Chosun, the corporationLG has approved a plan to release a smartphone with support for blockchain functions. The publication added that LG has already conducted market research and also met with local developers of decentralized applications. And back in February of this year, the company filed an application with the US Patent Office to register the trademark “ThinQ Wallet.” Judging by the description, this will be the name of the future native cryptocurrency wallet from LG with the function of transfers and payments.

LG is no longer new to the crypto industry.Last year, the corporation launched the Monachain blockchain platform. And in July of this year, it was revealed that Monachain would be used to track lunch deliveries to South Korean schools. The entire cycle will be tracked - from the source of raw materials to the consumption of products in an educational institution.

LG KlaytnPhone rival: Samsung and Kakao blockchain smartphone

South Korea is regularly in the news,because in this country, business, society, and authorities are actively developing the blockchain industry. LG's initiative is a response to the actions of competitors from Korean companies, namely the imminent release of the KlaytnPhone blockchain smartphone. This name hides the Galaxy Note 10 (in the 5G version), but with the Keystore wallet and support for BApps (blockchain apps). KlaytnPhone is a joint project of two other Korean corporations - Samsung and Kakao. Both companies have multiple DLT initiatives. The price of the phone starts from $1000.

Samsung is actively investing in startups, buildingcorporate blockchain platform, the company’s blockchain solutions are used in the public sector. But the company's biggest bid is the integration of its own Keystore cryptocurrency wallet into the new Galaxy S10 phone, which went on sale in February of this year. Samsung became the first leading smartphone manufacturer to introduce cryptocurrencies into its devices.

Recently in Keystore, along with standard tokensERC20, Bitcoin support has finally been added. Now Samsung is releasing its second blockchain smartphone, and a company representative also said that support for cryptocurrencies will be transferred to other, more budget models from the Galaxy line.

Kakao is more focused on software development. The company's flagship business is the most popular KakaoTalk messenger in South Korea. In May, Kakao launched its own blockchain platform, Klaytn. In addition, the company plans to introduce a cryptocurrency wallet and a cryptocurrency transfer service in its messenger, similar to Calibra from Facebook.

Blockchain smartphones: an overview of cryptocurrency-enabled phones


HTC and Exodus

Taiwanese HTC was the first company to launch a specialized phone for cryptocurrency holders on the market - HTC Exodus 1 was released at the end of October 2018.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Smartphoneruns on Android Oreo OS, has a 6-inch display and two dual cameras. A feature of the phone is the Secure Enclave security coprocessor, which allows you to hide personal data from the Android OS.

In addition, Exodus provides a mechanismrecovering private keys from crypto wallets using a seed phrase divided between several trusted persons of the user. If the device is stolen, access to wallets can be restored by combining phrases. The Zion application is responsible for private keys, storage and transactions of cryptocurrencies in Exodus. For greater security, user keys are stored in the phone hardware.

After the release, HTC released several updatesfor your blockchain phone. Thus, in the spring, Zion added the function of atomic swaps for ERC20 currencies stored in the wallet. And on September 16, HTC announced the introduction of a Bitcoin․com crypto wallet with support for Bitcoin Cash.

However, HTC decided not to stop atone blockchain phone and aims to introduce the Exodus 1S by the end of the third quarter of this year. It is known that the new device will be noticeably cheaper than its predecessor - its price will be $250-$300.

In addition, it will be possible to install on a smartphonefull node of the Bitcoin network. As planned by the manufacturer, this will enable users, if they wish, to verify the blockchain data themselves. At the same time, this possibility imposes certain technical requirements for the future smartphone - it should have enough memory for a node with a size of 200 GB, which grows annually by 50-60 GB. And this is not counting the space required for the system and programs.

"We think this is a fundamental [principle] fordecentralized Internet,” said Phil Chen, head of HTC’s blockchain department, “If you don’t own your own keys, you don’t own your bitcoins, you don’t own your cryptocurrency.”

Sirin Labs

Also nominated for the title of the first blockchain phoneclaims to be a Finney device. This smartphone is the development of a startup called Sirin Labs. In 2017, he raised about $157 million for the Finney through an ICO, and sales of the device began late last year.

The device has a 6-inch screen with a resolution2160x1080, the main camera is 12 MP, 128 GB of internal memory and an SD card slot. For the operation of the device, as in Exodus 1, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor is responsible. The phone’s feature is a built-in hardware wallet with a separate screen and support for dApps.

The device runs on Sirin OS (platformAndroid). Finney is sold through the official website for as low as $ 990 (purchase is available with Sirin Labs native tokens). The company also has branded stores in several countries, including the United States, Britain, Thailand and Japan.

In general, Sirin Labs business is developing:In March, the company announced the addition of support for the popular Ethereum wallet MyEtherWallet to the phone, and just a few days ago it confirmed its intentions to open an offline store in Bangladesh. However, in April, Sirin Labs fired a quarter of its employees due to “difficult market conditions” and stated that it would continue to focus on research and software development.

BOB: blockchain phone with modules

Another unusual device with blockchain functionsdeveloped by Pundi X, which develops a platform for payments via blockchain. In the winter of 2018, the startup began selling its own POS terminal compatible with cryptocurrencies to corporate clients, and according to official data, has already sold more than 100,000 units of payment machines. In the fall of the same year, Pundi X first announced plans to sell its own smartphone and showed its appearance:

Blockchain smartphones: an overview of cryptocurrency-enabled phones


The phone has been in development for over a year now, and on September 11, Pundi X unveiled new details.

  • Firstly, the final name of the device is BOB (Blok on Blok).
  • Secondly, Pundi X positions BOB as the firsta smartphone that can work completely on the blockchain. This will be implemented as follows: the phone will have two modes - in normal it is just an Android smartphone, and in another mode, the special Function X blockchain will be used. It provides complete privacy, preventing applications from sending user data to third parties. For example, users of two BOBs will be able to send messages to each other through nodes with full encryption of the content.
  • Thirdly, BOB will cost $ 600, crowdfunding campaigners on Kickstarter will be able to get the device, and the initial batch will be only 5,000 phones.

Curiously, you can attach to BOB"Modules" (included). Apparently, they will only change the appearance without changing the functionality. After attaching all the modules, the BOB will look like this:

Blockchain smartphones: an overview of cryptocurrency-enabled phones


It is also known that BOB will run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, and also have a minimum of 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of physical.

Huobi and Acute Angle

Another newcomer to this segment is the phoneAcute Angle, which was created by Whole Network, a startup acquired by the Huobi crypto exchange. This blockchain phone is perhaps the cheapest among its competitors. The retail price of the device will be about $515, but it can be significantly reduced if you buy the smartphone with Huobi HT exchange tokens.

It's interesting that Huobi relies on its communitytraders, since it chose the model of distributing the phone through its Prime IEO platform. Those who want to buy the phone will have to take part in a crowdfunding campaign. Huobi plans to sell no more than 10,000 phones.

Little is known about Acute Angle itself: screen 6.7 inches, at least 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of physical memory. In addition, the Huobi trading ecosystem and a certain NODE native loyalty token will be integrated into the phone, which will be used as a reward for certain user actions. In addition, you can separately order a cold NODE wallet, which can be attached to the phone.

Acute Angle Sales Must Begin On Thisweek, but so far only in China. In the fourth quarter of this year, the smartphone will be available for purchase in the countries of Southeast Asia, plans to ship to the US and Europe.

Blockchain smartphones: an overview of cryptocurrency-enabled phones


Review Summary

Smartphones are the most common type of digitaldevices, so it is not surprising that blockchain is permeating not only mobile platforms, but also becoming an integral part of the devices themselves. At the very least, phone manufacturers are starting to embrace the innovation of this technology to improve the security of devices and personal data.

Houbi Global CEO Livio Wang predicts a great future for blockchain phones:

“We think blockchain phones are promisingdirection of the crypto industry. As the industry evolves, and innovations such as 5G integrate into our telecommunication systems, we think that the entire crypto community will trade and transfer cryptocurrencies from mobile devices more and more. ”

The opportunities provided by the implementation of blockchaincan be much more than just storing private keys and encrypting personal data. Thus, former Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan is confident that deep integration of blockchain into smartphones will make it possible to combat “fraud of the future,” for example, fake calls asking for transfers when the caller’s voice is generated by a program using AI. Such cases are already happening. To prevent deepfakes, Srinivasan proposed using a two-factor caller identification system that would use voice recognition technology and cryptographic signature recognition.