It feels incredible to think how Blockchain and cryptocurrency has evolved from tech buzzwords to emerging digital currency. Major Cryptocurrency formats are getting acceptance from the banks slowly. NBFCs and even technology firms like Samsung cannot ignore its potential. That explains why the blockchain phones are growing in number. Before you can either dismiss it as a fad or start thinking of buying one, it is important to know what it is and what the advantages over usual smartphones are!

What is after all a Blockchain phone?

A blockchain phone can be deemed as a Smartphone with embedded blockchain-focused features. These features comprise of access to decentralized apps and digital asset wallet. The Dapps are basically blockchain-powered applications. Some blockchain phones can be used to manage files, send messages and make calls through the blockchain. The Dapps can be used to gain low-latency, secure communication. A few blockchain phone makers also have own digital tokens. These devices are being touted as the gateway to the decentralized web which is also called web 3.0.

 Why you may consider a blockchain phone over typical smartphones?

While the blockchain phones may not look very different than regular Smartphones, they have some obvious advantages or salient features.

First of all, the Blockchain smartphones are way more secure than regular Smartphones. They are secure as they offer embedded hardware wallet. These can be used to hold data safely. However, the majority of users use these to store cryptocurrency private keys. Of course, it can be used to store sensitive personal information including passwords.                       

If you are considering dabbling in Cryptocurrency for investment purposes, buying hardware wallet may be necessary and these may be priced steeply. When you have phone based hardware wallet- there is no need to buy one. So, that way it can be cost effective.

You can actually access the Dapps on a smartphone. However, blockchain phones come with native Dapp support. With enhanced Dapp access, a blockchain smartphone can be used to accomplish many things easily. These include earning and sending crypto, fair online gambling, censorship free communication etc.

What are the prominent Blockchain smartphones?

 As of now, you have 5 blockchain smartphones but the number will grow over the years. However, there is enough variation among the existing contenders. The Samsung Galaxy S10 is the most powerful one and the price tag is reasonable. The Sirin Labs Finney is not as powerful but it is more Blockchain centric than the Galaxy S 10. The same can be said about the much hyped HTC Exodus 1- which hogged lot of headlines during the launch a couple of years back. If you are looking for a low priced blockchain spec with decent spec the Pundi Xphone is the best bet. The Electroneum M1 is in a different league though.

  • Pundi Xphone-It looks like any generic android Smartphone and the company does not manufacture the hardware. It runs on a modified Android OS called Function X.  It is hosted by Ethereum blockchain. Using the device, you can switch from blockchain based calls to traditional and vice versa.
  • HTC Exodus 1- It is HTC’s first attempt at making a blockchain phone. The device uses Zion wallet. The Exodus uses TEE for security. The nice thing is that unless you use special instructions- the wallet remains disconnected from the OS. It also has a unique social key recovery mechanism to salvage if the device is lost. HTC may actually be making a successor to exodus 1 and a Binance edition is out.
  • Finney blockchain phone-The Finney blockchain phone by Sirin labs has an embedded virtual currency wallet. However, if you do not activate slide screen- it does not get activated. SirinOS is used in the device. The wallet has digital asset conversion facility.
  • Samsung’s Galaxy S10-The Galaxy S 10 is a powerful beast and trounces most contenders in departments like raw speed, display and imaging. However, as a purely blockchain phone- it seems a costly deal! The Galaxy S10 wallet lacks support for many cryptocurrencies. Its Dapp support also fails to impress.
  • SIKURPhone – It is a budget blockchain phone you can check out.  It runs on a toned down version of Android 7 which means it is aimed at niche users only. It does not run any regular app. However, the inbuilt browsers can be used to access social media services. If you lose the device, the remote wiping will ensure the ledger is clean.

What the future looks like?

While the first generation of these blockchain phones look promising, they still appeal only to a niche section of users. To woo the mainstream users, these phones have to be more user-friendly. HTC has tied up with Opera browser to ease crypto usage for the users while Samsung is offering blockchain-based specialty services like Enjin- a gaming platform. The steep pricing also keeps these devices out of mass reach, with Electroneum standing as the sole exception. So, you may prefer to wait and watch for the next wave of blockchain phones to hit the market, unless you have a deep wallet and eagerness to try a crypto phone at the earliest!

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