According to insiders, Samsung is planning to integrate a crypto cold storage in its upcoming S10 series. Other manufactures have already released blockchain-phones. But do they make sense?
SamMobile, a Samsung fan community, reported, “After hearing about the trademarks for Samsung’s blockchain and cryptocurrency software, we decided to dig around a little deeper. We can confirm that the company is indeed developing one and that it may be launched with the Galaxy S10.”
The Galaxy S10 will be released in early 2019. Samsung has not published any information regarding the features of the cold wallet and has not officially confirmed what has been reported by SamMobile.
However, considering Samsung’s blockchain track record, it won’t be surprising if the company decides to move into this direction.
Samsung SDS, the company’s IT subsidiary, is manufacturing ASIC mining chips. It has been involved in several ICOs and has recently launched the Nextledger platform, a blockchain-based enterprise solution that can be used across all industries and supply chains.
Thus, the South Korean tech giant is no newbie in the blockchain and crypto space.
2018 has seen the release of several blockchain-phones
We don’t know much about the Galaxy S10’s cold storage application, but SamMobile reported, “Samsung’s cold wallet app will enable users to import their existing wallets from third-party services like Metamask or TrustWallet. They will also be able to create a new one in the app itself. The cryptocurrencies and tokens supported initially may include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum-derived token ERC20 and Bitcoin Cash.”
The Samsung Galaxy S10 wouldn’t be the first mobile phone with an integrated cold wallet. Finney by Sirin Labs, HTC’s Exodus, which has just been delayed, and the Just5 CoinPhone all come with built-in crypto wallets.
These phones consist of two parts: the smartphone itself and a cold wallet that has several security levels.
The cold storage in the Finney phone for example is separate from the rest of the device and spending cryptocurrency from the phone requires the user to flip out a second screen that activates that part of the phone.
The Samsung S10 could be assembled in a similar fashion, with the phone and the cold wallet being two separate entities.
Do we need a smartphone with a cold wallet?
In general, it’s a positive sign that mobile phone manufacturers start exploring ways to integrate more crypto applications into smartphones. After all, the world is becoming increasingly mobile, so blockchain should move onto mobile devices as well.
However, the idea behind a cold wallet is to allow users to store coins on a separate, secure device, without being connected to the internet. It’s similar to a physical safe, just that the coins are digital.
Thus, the question arises if it’s smart to carry a cold wallet around on a daily basis. Would you do that with physical cash?
If the phone gets stolen or lost, a user might lose access to the wallet if the right security mechanisms are not in place. A Siri Labs spokesperson confirmed that if a user loses both, their phone and their seed phrase, they permanently lose access to the keys in their cold storage.
Sure, you could say you only store a smaller amount of coins on your smartphone’s wallet and keep the rest in another separate cold wallet. But then you might as well just use a hot wallet on your phone…
Mikhail Nikolaev, the founder of Just5, says, “Currently, the safest means for cryptocurrency transactions is a cold wallet that cannot work without a laptop. However, in this scheme, the device is just another intermediary and the very essence of blockchain is getting rid of intermediaries. CoinPhone smartphones wants to help users discard unnecessary devices and make cryptocurrency payments simple.”
Got it. But isn’t the entire point of a cold wallet to keep coins on a separate device?
I guess we will have to see what the application looks like and what security features Samsung will provide. From my point of view, I’m not sure why anyone would want to buy a smartphone with a cold storage. But I’m happy for the S10 to proof me wrong.