Get ready for the age of blockchain smartphones ☎️
It was always a matter of time before dedicated crypto wallets found their way onto smartphones but for now there are only a few companies competing for this space. Let's take a look at the two leaders, Sirin Labs Finney & HTC Exodus 1 both of whom have just released their products so that we can all rush out and buy them as christmas presents.
At $999 for the Finney and $960 for the Exodus these are unlikely to be on my shopping list this year.
Sirin Labs have provided us with a cold storage wallet packaged within a unique looking phone with double screen functionality.
As the first company to announce their concept they were able to raise $157.8 million for their ICO and the hype has been growing ever since.
The dedicated blockchain operating system is built on top of Android so that users may have a familiar experience while benefiting from the extra security.
Finney also provides a crypto conversion service which eliminates the need for external exchanges.
The exterior is impressive, sleek and metallic.
Available in three colours.
And I must admit... I want one.
HTC have also taken a unique approach to their design.
At first this image confused me... does the phone actually look like this?
Yes it does.
Turn it around however and it looks pretty much like any other HTC.
Unlike the Finney, the Exodus 1 does not have a cold storage wallet to keep your assets disconnected from the internet. Instead they have tried to find middle ground between the inconvenience of cold storage and the risks of centralised markets.
They use a quarantined section of ARM-based processors called TrustZone where your cryptocurrency keys are stored. This is Android’s answer to the Secure Enclave which keeps biometric info from Face ID & Touch ID safe on the iPhone.
That should make it safer than, say, a software-based wallet, which would be hypothetically more vulnerable to broader attacks on the Android operating system. Wired
I am less impressed by HTC's offering but they are at least the first of the big players to take on this arena and could do a lot to increase public awareness and trust in blockchain technology.
Amongst the other contenders for this new marketplace is the SikurPhone which has a custom operating system and Sony-designed hardware.
More will doubtless follow on their heels.
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