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article imageFirst blockchain smartphone set for release

By Tim Sandle     Apr 10, 2018 in Technology
The first mobile devices equipped with blockchain functionality is to be produced. This will be a new smartphone, with the aim if brining cryptocurrency use and blockchain to the mass market.
The new device comes from start-up Sirin Labs (based in Schaffhausen, Switzerland) and electronics manufacturing company Foxconn (from New Taipei City, Taiwan). The two will produce the Finney blockchain smartphone.
The aim of the new device is to simplify the experience of using cryptocurrency-related products and services. The Finney phone will enable people to securely store and use digital coins, such as Bitcoin, plus digital ledger services. Funding for the device was raised through an initial coin offering.
This represents a move from the current processes for using cryptocurrencies which is largely based on digital wallets. The current procedures make it difficult for transactions to be easily conducted, and the use of wallets means that storage processes are not optimally equipped for mobile devices.
Moreover, the current way of storing and using cryptocurrencies means that the use of digital currencies remains a specialist area. Developing a mobile option is seen as the bridge to getting alternative transactions into the mainstream. As Sirin Chief Executive Officer Moshe Hogeg tells Smart2Zero: "the mass market would never get it. There's no chance my mom can figure out how to use Bitcoin, and my mom is smart."
To achieve the new mobile option, Sirin has devised a proprietary operating system called the Kinney. This system is intended to work with various types of tokens and to allow people to make purchases fairly seamlessly on crypto-friendly sites.
The technology is described further in a Sirin Labs white paper, titled "Secure open source consumer electronics for the blockchain era."
There are other potential benefits as well. For example, a user of the new smartphone could elect to activate their phone's Wi-Fi while on the move and receive payment, in the form of tokens, from other people out an about who are seeking access to a wireless network.
In terms of cyber security, the new Finney device will come with a built-in crypto wallet to allow for the handling of coin-related services. Access for the first generation of smartphones will be via a physical switch. In the future, more sophisticated security measures could include iris scan or fingerprint access.
Sirin also plans, in the longer-term, to license its technology to other device manufacturers. The current focus, is however, with Finney, which has an initial market price of $999. The first sales of the device are expected in October 2018. There are already 25,000 units pre-ordered, according to CNET.
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