By David Drake
Since the first mobile phone was developed over 40 years ago, the technology has significantly grown to become a platform where other technologies can establish themselves. There are more than 4 billion mobile phone users in 2019 who are now able to enjoy nearly every service imaginable, from simple utility applications to complex ones.
This critical mass is also seen by cryptocurrency industry players as a gateway for breaking barriers of entry that have, so far, hindered the growth of cryptocurrencies and its underlying technology. As such, efforts have been made to create smartphones that also support cryptocurrencies. In the previous year, HTC’s Exodus 1 and Sirin Lab’s Finney phones were launched.
More significantly though, the largest phone manufacturer Samsung Electronics has unveiled a cryptocurrency wallet dubbed ‘Samsung Blockchain Wallet’ for its newly-launched Galaxy S10 phone.
Initially, Samsung’s Blockchain Wallet will only support the use of Ether and ethereum-based ERC20 tokens. Additionally, the wallet will also support four decentralised apps (dapps). These are merchant payment service, CoinDuck beauty community, Cosmee, crypto-gaming platform, Enjin and the crypto collectibles platform, CryptoKitties.
During the unveiling, the company noted that it has put in place expansion plans to offer the service to its other devices, and also incorporate more cryptocurrencies to its wallet. In the weeks before the unveiling, the company had also affirmed that it would offer storage services for private cryptocurrency keys in its S10 model.
Such developments show the company’s resolve to incorporate blockchain technology into its devices. This affirms the results of the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC) where a quarter of the institutional investors interviewed held that listed firms would have to indicate their blockchain plans in the next few years.
Blockchain technology is surely on an upward trajectory. However, there is need to reach a critical mass to propagate its growth towards attaining mainstream use. As the largest phone manufacturer, the Samsung Blockchain wallet will, thus, inspire trust in cryptocurrencies and its underlying technology among the masses.
According to Jess Davis, CEO of Uberstate, it is an indication of full blockchain technology integration in the mobile telephony. He states that this integration will come about as a result of increased infrastructure as other companies follow Samsung electronics lead.
He notes, “Yes, in my professional opinion this is an example of a technology provider moving towards mass adoption of Blockchain. As the infrastructure grows and it becomes more common more companies will follow suit. I predict others will join in the race to have the best wallets embedded on their phones and find partners in the space.”
Disclaimer: David Drake is on the advisory board for most of the firms mentioned or quoted in this article.