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Yesterday I had an opportunity to see (and try) new Samsung Galaxy S10. It is long awaited and the latest entry in the hugely-successful Galaxy S range. From the moment you pick it up the latest flagship, it’s clear that a lot has changed.
That’s just as well, after all, Samsung recently lost its crown as T3’s prestigious best Android smartphone to the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. I will have to spend more time with the Galaxy S10 before I make the final call, but Samsung has really pulled out the stops with its latest flagship smartphone.
And it might just be enough to reclaim the crown.
Quite a Stir in Crypto Community
What I think it’s very interesting here ( except phenomenal new One UI operating system that runs on the handset out-of-the-box) is that this smartphone has caused quite the stir in the crypto community. Social media came alive once the company announced that its new phone would come with dedicated “secure storage” designed for cryptocurrency private keys.
The company announced the launch of the new phone in a Feb. 21st press release, where it detailed the phone’s new features and upgrades. The new Galaxy S10 will feature an upgraded camera system with “advanced intelligence,” 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, as well as the ability to wirelessly charge other phones.
However, the feature that generated the most buzz is Samsung’s proprietary defense platform, Samsung Knox. According to company, the platform will enable the new smartphone to have secure private key storage specifically made for blockchain-enabled mobile services.
“Galaxy S10 is built with defense-grade Samsung Knox, as well as a secure storage backed by hardware, which houses your private keys for blockchain-enabled mobile services.”
In addition, the Galaxy S10 series is equipped with an AP (Application Processor) Exynos 9820 developed by Samsung itself. The Exynos 9820 also includes a PUF (physically unclonable function) – a semiconductor-based cryptographic key management technology. In effect, the Galaxy S10 has plenty of security tech to store private keys safely.
The S10 allows users to store private keys either in the secure enclave or via a third-party service, the terms indicate. You can check out our tutorial of how to use it here.
So How Does it Work?
First, you put your address in and also the amount and fee to be sent and then press the “send” button. You will be prompted to confirm with fingerprint ID or PIN code.
Once the authentication is complete, the transfer is sent.
To avoid possible mistakes, wallet addresses can be entered using the camera to scan a QR code where available. The wallet also provides the option to import an existing wallet and create a new wallet.
The app supports Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC) by default, but there is also cryptocurrency/token “add” button, so users will presumably be able to use other cryptocurrencies and ethereum-based ERC-20 tokens via the wallet.
What if I Lose My Phone?
But what do you do about your private keys if you lose your phone? According to the T&Cs, the private keys stored in the S10’s Keystore are backed up in a personal account provided by Samsung.
If the phone is lost or stolen, users can access the device and delete the private key through its Find My Mobile service. Further, if a private key is accidentally deleted, users can restore it via the service.
Here is something to bear in mind: according to Statista, the number of blockchain wallet users at the end of December 2018 is close to 32 million. At minimum, this number could double once the new Galaxy S10 is released.
Hardware Wallet Competition
It is important to remember that not all users of the new Samsung Galaxy S10 will be using the wallet. But the feature will no doubt spark more interest. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain have been covered extensively throughout 2018 by mainstream media.
Thus, it is not hard to imagine that the vast majority of consumers has an idea of what crypto and blockchain are and that there’s a foundation for human curiosity to flourish.
Conversely, Samsung is jumping into an arena where competition is mounting quickly. Last spring, Chinese smartphone manufacturing titan Huawei embraced pre-installed BTC.com Bitcoin wallets in its Honor phone series.
Taiwan-based smartphone maker HTC also recently released its Exodus smartphone, which boasts a universal cryptocurrency wallet. And Sirin Labs has also launched its Finney smartphone, an ode to early Bitcoin developer Hal Finney, which offers native crypto storage.