The $US999 smartphone includes a ‘cold storage’ crypto wallet and enhanced security features.
Electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn has agreed to build a blockchain-centric phone that will help its owners securely store and trade cryptocurrency.
Developed by Sirin Labs, the device – dubbed Finney – will run the Android-based Sirin OS, and act as a device to securely store cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero and convert cash from one cryptocurrency to another.
The phone will also feature a ‘cold storage’ crypto wallet, enabled via a physical switch, that, when flicked, immediately turns off all unencrypted communications – meaning the crypto wallet will be offline unless deliberately activated.
Furthermore, as Sirin OS makes use of the distributed ledger consensus found in blockchain systems, it is claimed to be fully tamper proof.
Accompanying a sleek design, provisional hardware specs include a 5.5in display, 64GB internal storage, 6GB of RAM with a 12MP main camera and 13MP front-facing camera.
The phone is expected to ship in October, with Sirin aiming to sell between 100,000 units to a few million in 2018, potentially adding to more than 25,000 pre-orders. Moreover, the device will initially be sold in eight new stores located in regions with the most active crypto communities, from Vietnam to Turkey, according to Bloomberg.
Foxconn, as one of the world’s biggest electronics manufacturers, is known for producing some of the world’s best-selling products – from iPhones to Kindles – and recently diversified its portfolio by agreeing a deal to purchase Belkin for $866 million.
But according to auditors KPMG, blockchain still remains in the “hype stage” with results not expected till at least 2019 at the earliest.
KPMG head of tech growth Patrick Imbach recently said: “I’m not sure actually whether some sort of tangible use-cases and commercial models based on blockchain technologies will evolve over the next months.
“We’re still a little bit early in that process, I wouldn’t expect any exciting commercial opportunities to arise in large numbers any time soon.”
Finney is Sirin Labs’ second smartphone device following the release of Solarin in 2016.
Marketed as an ultra-secure smartphone, Solarin was priced at $US14,000, a princely sum compared to Finney’s relatively modest pre-order price of $US999. Users will also be able to pre-order Finney using SRN, Sirin’s own token, at a discounted price.