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David Drake

May 15, 2019 Article

Samsung Galaxy S10 Comes with Pre-Installed Digital Wallet, is this the Beginning of Crypto Mainstreaming in Mobile Telephony?

Blockchain, originally the launching pad for cryptocurrencies, has evolved into a sovereign entity capable of transforming different market sectors. The mobile industry has demonstrated an acclimatization to this new technology when Samsung Electronics became the latest to pre-install a crypto wallet into its Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphone.

The wallet of choice, Enjin, is considered the safest mobile crypto wallet in the world. It supports only ETH (ERC20 tokens) despite speculations surrounding BTC at pre-release presentations. However, coins can only be stored offline, or in cold storage.

The S10 integrates four decentralized apps (DApp): COSMEE (blockchain-supported beauty app) which operates with COSM tokens; CoinDuck (a merchant payment system); CryptoKitties (a collectibles platform); and Enjin (a gaming platform). COSMEE is a blockchain-related decentralized app (DApp) which allows consumers to earn tokens by reviewing beauty products.

These functions are only compatible with the Galaxy S10 and can be downloaded via the Galaxy Store. The Galaxy S10 was made available for pre-order in early March.

Practicality Aspect
Samsung isn’t the first phone company to attempt an integration with blockchain. Back in October of 2018, HTC produced the same with their HTC Exodus which was available for preorder at the time. The goal was to revive market space by appealing to crypto owners since the phone can only be bought with digital coins. Sirin Labs also unveiled the Finney phone, available for $1,000, which was equipped with a wallet for storing cryptocurrencies.

To date, the only aspect of blockchain that has been enabled in smartphones is the addition of crypto wallets. Using the Android app, Opera, any android phone can technically be converted to operate like the HTC Exodus or the Galaxy S10. The only limitation is that the app only supports ETH, though plans are underway to add more coins. There have been no additional avenues for utilization of blockchain in these smartphones.

Still, Samsung’s integration of blockchain into its flagship phone after previously denying its viability could shift perspectives in the market. As more consumers become familiar with the terms bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, future possibilities will become clearer.

Samsung shipped 70 million units in the fourth quarter of 2018 alone. For the whole of 2018, it has shipped more than 292 million smartphones globally. This indicates growing customer trust for this South Korean company, which has claimed 20 to 30 percent of the smartphone market since 2012.

What Happens Next
Speculations were rife at the time HTC introduced the Exodus with a blockchain-enabled system. As with everything crypto and blockchain, it’s not the technology, but the name supporting it. With the mobile giant, Samsung, on board, other mobile carriers might soon catch up.

When asked about these developments, Jess Davis, CEO of
Uberstate, was quick to agree that Samsung's move will inspire trust in blockchain and cryptocurrencies and that it could be the beginning of full blockchain integration in mobile telephony.

“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,” he said.

The crypto wallet embedded in Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphone could be the game changer in when it comes to providing a gateway to access the wide market for crypto-coins utilization worldwide.

In this day and age of ground-breaking technology, if you snooze, you could be left behind in a constantly shifting paradigm. As more companies, consumers, and banking giants become '
blockchain savvy', the technology will likely become mainstream with few or no 'sandbox' experiments.

 Disclaimer: David Drake is on the advisory board for most of the firms mentioned or quoted in this article.

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