- Finin by Sirin Labs and HTC Exodus are destined to become the first blockchain phones on the market.
- In the long run, blockchain phones could be used to increase our security and move control of our data from large companies to individual users.
- In the future, it is likely that the concept could become mainstream due to the benefits it offers.
Blockchain has gained some huge gains in popularity over the last two years, but the concept of a blockchain phone still remains quite a mystery.
We are both baffled by the fact that so many companies are trying so hard to bring this concept to reality, and even surprised that it took so long and we do not yet have a fully functioning model.
What is the phone blockchain and which companies are developing it?
The main purpose of a blockchain phone is quite simple: act as a hardware portfolio to keep encryption secure.
However, it is obvious that most companies willing to stick their necks to create a blockchain phone have much larger ambitions than simply creating a glorified encrypted storage device.
Finin of Sirin Labs and HTC Exodus are destined to become the first blockchain phones, with both companies planning to release by the end of the year.
However, despite having both labeled "blockchain phones", companies have integrated the technology in different ways, creating unique models.
What are the security risks?
Technical blueprints of the HTC Exodus blockchain phone.
In the beginning, the idea of a blockchain phone raised a lot of eyebrows. Most people would consider their phone the last place to store all their cryptocurrencies, not least because it was found that the Android operating system includes numerous security risks.
As a result of the increase in the number of attacks on centralized exchanges as cryptocurrencies have become more common, many people have chosen to avoid software portfolios altogether.
In fact, investors are so concerned about security risks that they prefer to store their cryptography in a cold storage portfolio, which is completely disconnected from the Internet.
Another big deterrent is the consideration that, even if the phone is secure, it could be lost or stolen at any time, leaving the user without a telephone, but also without all their cryptocurrency.
Think about the amount of money you feel comfortable carrying in your pocket – the probable answer is, not much.
Now think about going around with your entire savings account hidden in your back pocket.
This raises the question, how to get around these risks?
Companies are working to make the phone blockchain safer
HTC Exodus improves security by allowing users to keep their keys and place them in a reliable execution environment separate from the phone operating system. It is part of an ARM chip called TrustZone.
This mechanism has been used in the past by several other companies to protect important data. For example, Apple uses it to protect the information stored on the fingerprint and face you use to unlock the phone.
However, even with these safety precautions in place, it is still not completely infallible.
In an interview with Wired, HTC's decentralized head officer, Phil Chen, said:
"We are still at the beginning of the user education phase that this is not a 100% secure solution, but at the moment it is the best so far, it is our attempt to do something that is better than the market".
The Finney phone, on the other hand, will feature a second touch screen that can be lifted from the back of the device.
This is designed to activate the cold storage wallet of the device that will cut all unencrypted communications and ensure that the digital storage space is inaccessible in order to facilitate secure transactions. The phone can be used and purchased with Sirin tokens (SRN).
Nimrod May, marketing manager at Sirin Labs, said that:
"The vision of Sirin Labs right now is to bridge the gap between the Blockchain economy and the mass market, fundamentally addressing and resolving these two inherent problems."
How will a blockchain phone change the company?
Sirin's phone Finney has a slide compartment for the encrypted cold room wallet. When the compartment is closed, the wallet is offline and completely turned off. To open the cold wallet, slide up to reveal a second 2-inch screen for the authentication key.
The creation of the phone blockchain is not just to give people another place to store their crypt. In fact, it symbolizes something much bigger. In addition to giving people a new way to relate with their cryptography, it will change the way they relate to their data and their identity.
Given the increasing number of data breaches we are seeing from large corporations, it is evident that people are becoming much more suspicious than companies that control their data and are interested in finding alternatives.
The blockchain is a transparent and immutable digital ledger that grants users full control of their data and solves many of the challenges we are facing in relation to our digital identities.
Ultimately, the use of this technology in the mobile phone represents a shift of control by large companies, to individual users themselves.
"A few years down the road, we see a world where people have their own identities and data, where everyone understands the concept and the economy of digital ownership," says HTC of HTC.
Are blockchain phones the future?
There is no doubt that blockchain phones are about to come true. However, if they appeal to the mainstream, it is a completely different question.
At first glance, it might just seem like another trick you could use to amaze your friends at a party but, on closer inspection, it is clear that the idea has some notable advantages over standard mobile phones that many of us currently use .
When we spend around 23 days a year on our mobile phones, surely security should be one of our main priorities?
Which is exactly what the blockchain phone is set to provide.
Can the blockchain end corruption?
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