One very interesting characteristic of the tech community is that it anxiously waits for announcements from the big companies in the industry. Even if for the past few years most of the innovations have been incremental, enthusiasts are always expecting something as disruptive as blockchain was in 2009. This year, Samsung presented a cryptocurrency integration in the new Samsung Galaxy S10, and for blockchain supporters, it was seen as a huge step for what this technology can become.
Blockchain current integration into the latest Samsung smartphone is mainly as a private key wallet. The use of PUF (Physical Unclonable Function) technology, which is unusual in smartphones and laptops, shows the commitment of the Korean brand to provide a high-quality and safe alternative to the crypto wallets on the market. With such technology, Samsung will allow users to make payments using only their phone or simply store their crypto on the smartphone.
However, it is important to note that the crypto wallet feature will initially only support Ethereum. Just like Henry Ford said “you can have your car painted in any color as long as it is black”, you can also store any crypto as long as it is Ethereum. The exclusion of the most popular crypto Bitcoin comes as a surprise and it is unclear why Samsung made this decision.
So what does Samsung latest innovation mean for blockchain technology outside of the crypto space?
First of all, Samsung, through their Samsung Pass feature, already has plans to use the blockchain in a different setting and allow users to authenticate into their smartphones with it.
Second, a Digital ID might be the next logical step. Using blockchain, it is possible to create a decentralized identification for each user, that can then be used for secure logins, purchases, registrations and, in an ideal situation, act as a replacement for our physical IDs.
Finally, the use of dApps might be the pinnacle of blockchain integration on the smartphone. Instead of relying on big company servers to store data and to deploy users’ favorite applications, it will be possible to connect to decentralized networks and access decentralized apps where everyone has full control of their data.
In fact, Galaxy S10 comes equipped with video tutorials which, according to an early user, mentioned that blockchain technology could be used in different industries such as insurance.
HTC also in the blockchain race
The launch of such features on a smartphone might be a decisive driver to the mass adoption of blockchain technology and it clearly makes a statement on how committed some of the largest smartphone manufacturers are to this disruptive technology.
Not only Samsung is working on such implementation, but so is HTC. The latter developed what they refer as the “world’s first native blockchain phone” which tackles one of the main barriers to mass adoption – the management of private keys. It continues to be a struggle for the average crypto user but HTC is on the forefront to solve this issue. HTC developed the Social Key Recovery, that allows users to recover private keys by sharing parts of it with different trusted contacts when setting the account and once the user loses it, they can always ask their contacts.
With this major announcement from Samsung, we can start to imagine what the next wave of the Internet, Internet 3.0, could looks like but there is still a lot of work to be done for blockchain technology to be adopted by the masses.