What is a blockchain smartphone?
Blockchain technology is widely known thanks to Bitcoin. So in most cases, when people hear blockchain it is associated with finances. However this technology is not used exclusively in cryptocurrencies. Smartphones manufacturers did not want to stand aside: several companies have already announced plans to release blockchain smartphones.
It is hard to identify what a blockchain smartphone is. And what is its significant difference from a regular smartphone. Does it work on Android, iOS or another blockchain-based operating system? What features will these phones get? It’s not quite explained yet. But it’s no secret that the biggest phone manufacturers compete to create the first blockchain smartphone. Last year Swiss company Sirin Labs announced its plans to create such device. This year HTC joined the race by introducing HTC Exodus gadget. Let’s look at some of these projects and find out what to expect of blockchain smartphones in the near future.
Finney by Sirin Labs
First on the list is Finney smartphone by Sirin Labs. The description says that this is a “futuristic device designed for the era of the blockchain.” Finney costs $999. This could be considered cheap. Especially if we look up the price for the previous model from Sirin Lab which priced at $14,000. Finney technical characteristics look very good. Which is exactly what you would expect from the flagship device. The smartphone is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset, 128 GB internal memory and 6 GB RAM. Here are some other features: a 3280 mAh battery, a 18: 9 six-inch screen, a 12 megapixel main camera and a 8 megapixel front camera. Bonus: a slot for a memory card with a capacity of up to 2 TB. Finney is equipped with a built-in wallet for “cold” storage that supports all major cryptocurrencies. It has to be activated manually. And it disables all unencrypted communications when switched on. Unless you turn it on, this wallet will not get connected to the Internet.
HTC Exodus by HTC
Taiwanese company HTC is competing with Sirin Labs on the field of blockchain smartphones. This year HTC announced blockchain-smartphone HTC Exodus. With this model HTC hopes to expand the scope of blockchain use in mobile technologies. According to the information a “cold” wallet will be embedded in the smartphone. In addition each phone will become a blockchain node. The main advantage of this model will be the key recovery function. The need for this function has been spoken about for a long time among crypto community. The head of HTC’s crypto department, Phil Chen, said that tens of thousands of requests from around the world have already been received for this model. In addition, he said that HTC is working in close partnership with the developers of the game CryptoKitties. Rumors says that HTC Exodus can also be used for mining cryptocurrencies. But so far this information remains unconfirmed.
BitVault by Swiss Bank
Sirin Labs and HTC are not the only ones working on blockchain smartphones. A similar project called BitVault is available by the Swiss Bank startup. The company announced BitVault as a “first crypto-communicator” based on the blockchain. Using this device in a private blockchain you can safely exchange messages, send videos and photos, search the Internet and make audio and video calls over an encrypted channel.
Another company that wants to join this race is Blacture. They are working on Motif blockchain smartphone. The company’s website says that Motif will use digital encryption for reliable data transfer. In addition users will receive tokens for purchases made in certain online stores. Coins will be credited to the Blacture debit card.
Is the world ready for blockchain smartphones?
Both Finney and HTC Exodus will be equipped with built-in “cold” wallets. This option is likely to attract a number of users. However, what is the point for a consumer who already has a hardware wallet to switch to such a smartphone? It will not give any new opportunities. It is completely incomprehensible how Exodus will be involved in cryptocurrency mining even if it’s true. Now mining is carried out by pools in which several video cards and ASIC-miners are involved, consuming a huge amount of electricity. Not to mention the fact that the battery capacity in smartphones is negligible compared to the amount of electricity that is needed for the mining pools. Whether the world is ready for blockchain smartphones or not is unknown. However, the fact that tens of thousands of applications have already been submitted for the purchase of HTC Exodus can serve as an argument in their favor. However, perhaps these applications are left by the so-called early followers who like to be the first to test innovative technologies. Although the very idea of blockchain smartphones seems very tempting, for the time being it cannot be said with certainty that they will be assuredly successful.