Samsung have announced that they intend to launch blockchain and cryptocurrency functions onto their Galaxy smartphone range.
The South Korean telecoms and electronics giant has already included such features on its recently released Galaxy S10, but it now plans to do the same on other Galaxy models, including budget options. The high price tag of around $999.99 for the S10 meant that it was inaccessible to some users that wanted cryptocurrency functionality. Now, with the wallet set to be included on lower-cost models, it means that more and more users can start to dabble in the crypto-world without having to fork out extra money for a device that supports it.
Plans are also apparently in the pipeline to cooperate with other telecom companies to create blockchain-based mobile ID cards that combine digital identity authentication with local currencies. At the moment, discussions are underway between SK Telecom and KT who are both taking the lead in developing digital identity authentication and local currency solutions.
The Galaxy S10 which was released in March included its own cryptocurrency wallet and it was heralded as a move that would contribute to the expansion of the crypto and blockchain market. This recent development is set to further this even more by increasing the adoption of blockchain technology across approximately 2 billion Android devices.
Samsung shipped over 70.3million smartphones during the fourth quarter of 2018- slightly behind Apple, but way ahead of competitors Huawei, Xiaomi, and Oppo.
The Samsung Blockchain Wallet supports Ether and Ethereum-based ERC20 tokens. Whilst it does not support Bitcoin, Samsung did feature the BTC logo on promotional material, perhaps hinting that it could do in the future.
The Galaxy S10 bitcoin wallet can be downloaded via the Samsung Galaxy Store along with four other dApps Cosmee, Enjin, CryptoKitties, and Coinduck. All of these dApps are supported by the Samsung Blockchain Wallet.
Chae Won-cheol, senior managing director of the Product Strategy Team at Samsung explained that “we will lower barriers to new experiences by gradually expanding the number of Galaxy models that support blockchain functions.”
He added that Samsung were also planning to roll out the new service beyond Korea, to the United States and Canada in the near future. The Samsung Bitcoin Wallet was first restricted to just South Korea, but this is set to change soon.
It also appears that Samsung Electronics are keen to further develop blockchain-based security functions.
“We will develop technologies for blockchain-based identification and local currencies by partnering with telecom operators,” according to Chae.