News about Samsung’s much anticipated Galaxy S10 phone has been unfolding over the last week following speculation about its potential cryptocurrency integrations. According to a piece by CoinDesk Korea, the ‘Blockchain Keystore’ app on the phone includes features such as key management, transactions, and content copyright management.
Additionally, Samsung unveiled the ‘Samsung Knox’ features of the S10, which according to their press release:
Galaxy S10 is built with defense-grade Samsung Knox, as well as a secure storage backed by hardware, which houses your private keys for blockchain-enabled mobile services.
Samsung also featured its Galaxy S10 — due for official release in early March — at MWC Barcelona 2019 on Monday, displaying logos of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Enjin. Enjin is an Ethereum-based blockchain gaming company, and the phone is reported to have full ERC-20 support.
Samsung’s Galaxy S10
The speculation around the S10 stems from numerous rumors in December 2018 regarding Samsung’s potential integration of cold wallet functionality within the next iteration of one of the world’s most popular phones.
Recent revelations into the launch of the Galaxy S10 seem to confirm the earlier rumors that the phone will feature hardware wallet storage. The press release from last week mentioned ‘blockchain-enabled mobile services’ for private keys, and Samsung’s presentation at MWC Barcelona detailed how game items storage (i.e., Enjin), crypto assets storage, and crypto transactions would all be available with the Blockchain Keystore.
Samsung’s integration of cryptocurrency functionality is compelling for a couple of reasons. First, Samsung is one of the largest mobile phone providers in the world, and its line of smartphones are consistently ranked among the best in the world. Such widespread exposure to cryptocurrency capabilities can significantly impact the broader adoption of digital assets — especially considering the UI/UX of mobile phones that mainstream consumers are accustomed to.
Additionally, rumors are floating that Samsung Pay — the popular payments app — is integrating cryptocurrency payments, although that rumor is not confirmed.
Blockchain and Crypto Phones
The anticipation surrounding Samsung’s Galaxy S10 coincides with several other mobile developments with crypto assets — including HTC’s blockchain phone, Electroneum’s $80 smartphone, and the release of the Finney Blockchain phone from Sirin Labs late last year.
In particular, HTC announced that they would be expanding the supported cryptocurrencies for their EXODUS 1 phone — even enabling the phone to be purchased with USD now. The phone is also undergoing integration with Opera Browser in an initiative to conduct micropayments and interact with dapps via the Zion mobile wallet application.
The broader transition to more mobile-focused applications and services for cryptocurrencies is indicative of companies attempting to capture the early mobile market share among more mainstream users. The trend will likely continue to accelerate throughout 2019 and into the next few years as cryptocurrencies adapt to better UI/UX and businesses target mainstream audiences.
For now, the speculation and anticipation around Samsung’s Galaxy S10 seem well-founded, and its demand should serve as a useful metric for the impact mobile crypto integration will have in fueling further adoption of cryptocurrencies and digital assets.