Swiss-Israeli tech firm SIRIN LABS will be shipping its first Blockchain-enabled smartphone today, i.e., 29th November, 2018. The smartphone is promoted under the brand name – “FINNEY” (named after Hal Finney who is credited for carrying out the world’s first Bitcoin transaction) and has inbuilt Blockchain features like – encrypted communication, cold wallet storage, decentralized app store, etc. The device has specifically been developed with the aim of bridging the gap between the masses and the Blockchain platform by making a hardware that is user-friendly and easy to carry. This smartphone will be sold for $999 in retail and payments will only be accepted in the form of cryptocurrency.
SIRIN LABS is an electronic gadget manufacturer that is specifically focused on Blockchain-based products. It had managed to raise more than $157 million in an Initial Coin Offering, for the manufacturing of its FINNEY smartphone, last year. SIRIN’S CEO, Moshe Hogeg, said in a statement – “Blockchain technology won’t crossover to the mainstream until the user experience is fixed. Our successful crowd-funding provides us the resources to solve such issues and bring to market a safer and simpler experience for mass market adoption”. SIRIN LABS is also working on manufacturing a blockchain-enabled all-in-one PC whose development is slated to begin in 2019.
The FINNEY smartphone uses Qualcomm’s latest – Snapdragon 845 processor, has a 6-inch 18:9 display screen, 128 GB of internal storage and comes with an external storage slot that can support upto 2TB of Secure Digital Memory Card [more information is available on https://sirinlabs.com/finney/]. It also has a physical toggle switch that will immediately turn-off all the unencrypted communications to isolate the inbuilt digital storage from any kind of unencrypted wireless medium for carrying out the cryptocurrency transactions. It runs on SIRIN’S open-source operating system and Android. This, according to SIRIN, “enables fast payments between the network peers without the need for mining”. Thus, there will be no transaction cost in the crypto transactions carried out by using the FINNEY smartphone.
The Blockchain-enabled smartphone will open up a whole new area of possibilities with this technology apart from the existing, financial transactions. Today all the smartphone makers along with the operators have a centralized database system. Each and every information on our phone is updated in their database the moment we allow internet access on our devices. This has allowed some of the manufacturers like – Apple, Google, Samsung, etc., to become a dominant player by selling some of our usage information to other corporates and utilizing it as per their convenience. It has also made us vulnerable to cyber-attacks as the moment someone hacks into the databases of these companies, all of our sensitive information that is present in their system in the form of cloud or external storage, text messages, Photos, etc., is up for grabs.
But with the use of Blockchain-enabled smartphone, all of our data will be stored in encrypted form in our own devices only. These smartphones will allow an individual to run inbuilt Blockchain applications such as crypto wallet, encrypted communications, a peer-to-peer resource sharing ecosystem for payment & apps and secure exchange access. Thus, it will create an environment where there will be a secure, dependable & easy to use payment method, communication method. Also it will bring a transparent system into existence where, there shall be no more dealings under the table and each and every transaction will have a record in the Blockchain platform.
But the Blockchain-enabled smartphone will only cater to a niche market as of now. Currently it will only appeal to those people who are constantly involved in cryptocurrency trading. At $999, the price is not aggressive at all and will be very unattractive to the masses who currently prefer mid-range smartphone. The payment method is also going to be a hindrance in the sale of this smartphone to the masses as it will effectively be available to only those people who are willing to make the payment in the form of cryptocurrency. Another issue, which is rather related to the Blockchain technology, is that the user has to keep his/her private key completely secure at all times and see to it that they do not lose it because if they lose their private key, their entire cryptocurrency is lost forever.