The Blockchain Phone Era

Posted | 14/07/2020 / Views | 6321
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Samsung's Blockchain Wallet will add support for users of U.S. bitcoin and crypto exchange Gemini in North America alongside integrating other crypto projects.

Users of Samsung's crypto wallet, which allows self-custody of bitcoin and crypto directly on newer Samsung Galaxy models, will be able to buy and sell bitcoin and a small selection of other cryptocurrencies via the Gemini exchange.

They will also be able to view Gemini account balances and transfer their bitcoin and crypto into a higher security cold storage account.

"Crypto is not just a technology, it is a movement," said Gemini chief executive Tyler Winklevoss, who, along with his twin brother, has campaigned for Wall Street adoption of bitcoin and crypto.

"We are proud to be working with Samsung to bring crypto’s promise of greater choice, independence, and opportunity to more individuals around the world."

Samsung has become an early leader in smartphone bitcoin and cryptocurrency support after introducing the Blockchain Keystore last year—a move that could further boost bitcoin and crypto adoption.

Samsung is one of the first major smartphone makers to include a cryptocurrency wallet in its latest flagship Galaxy S10 phones letting users store bitcoin and Ethereum. It’s a cold storage wallet, meaning it’s not connected to the internet. They also said that in the future the phones would support contactless payments using cryptocurrency. Samsung is one of a few companies that have launched blockchain-related phones, and its participation in the trend could influence other players in the market.

Samsung is also embedding the blockchain-powered Theta.tv streaming service into its line of Galaxy smartphones, bringing the gaming and esports streaming service to its line-up of Galaxy smartphones. The streaming platform is powered by the Theta token and blockchain and will enable millions of Samsung phone users to have direct access to their gaming-centred content. Theta.tv allows users to earn tokens, dubbed TFUEL, for watching and sharing streams on the platform. Users can also transfer tokens through the service or trade them on crypto exchanges.  

Theta has added over 1,000% to its price since the bitcoin and wider cryptocurrency market crashed in March, according to CoinMarketCap data, demonstrating the exponential growth that can occur once a large multinational shows support for a crypto project. Ainslie Wealth has facilitated a number Theta purchases for our clients over the last 6 months (we can facilitate any crypto purchase of decent liquidity just as we do for the large market cap mainstays).

Many in the bitcoin and cryptocurrency community see stalled user adoption as one of the biggest hurdles the nascent technology is currently facing.

Clunky exchanges and clumsy customer support are common complaints made against bitcoin and crypto services, with many potential users lacking the required technology confidence to buy and store cryptocurrencies themselves.  This is where Ainslie Wealth has thrived by providing a simple to understand, risk free, person to person service with secure storage solutions included.

"For millions of Samsung users across the U.S. and Canada, being able to store crypto directly on their phones lowers another barrier to entry," said Jeanine Hightower-Sellitto, managing director of operations at Gemini.

The partnership comes as bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges around the world see user registrations and trading volumes soar amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"Customer demand for regulated crypto products has remained strong across the investing spectrum, from retail to institutional investors, throughout the pandemic and we expect that demand to continue to grow," Hightower-Sellitto added.

Though blockchain phones remain niche products that appeal to existing cryptocurrency users, competition will force big players such as Apple and Samsung to offer blockchain services to their users or risk being left behind.

As we move into the 5G era, data security is expected to become increasingly important. Thus, giving users greater control over their own data could prove to be a good way for big tech companies to differentiate themselves.

The blockchain phone era has begun.