Samsung and Blockchain – What is the Samsung Blockchain Keystore?

Written by Ivan on Tech

Aug 20, 2020

Anyone familiar with blockchain technology will know that cryptocurrency adoption was one of the primary drivers behind the advent of the latest blockchain boom. Yes, blockchain is in use across many industries, and various well-known, billion-dollar companies are adopting blockchain like never before. Despite this, however, cryptocurrency adoption is still an incredibly powerful driver when it comes to boosting general awareness regarding blockchain technology. As such, the Samsung Blockchain Keystore is something that deserves some attention.

First and foremost, you might be asking, “what is the Samsung Blockchain Keystore?”. Although you will likely be familiar with Samsung Electronics, the South Korean electronics company behind the Samsung Galaxy S and Samsung Galaxy Note series of mobile phones. 

Moreover, it may surprise some to learn that Samsung is quite actively pursuing both blockchain technology and supporting broader cryptocurrency adoption. This primarily comes in the form of greater blockchain support, which is built on something known as the Samsung Blockchain Keystore.

In addition to this, however, Samsung has also developed the Samsung Blockchain Wallet, which seeks to act as a built-in cryptocurrency wallet. Samsung first showed off its Samsung Blockchain Wallet App back in 2019, during the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S10.

Since then, Samsung has continued to add more features to its blockchain applications and is continually expanding the capability of the Samsung Blockchain Wallet. This persistence shows that Samsung believes the Samsung Blockchain Keystore, and blockchain technology in general, holds great potential for mobile devices’ future.

Nevertheless, it can be hard to wrap one’s head around the various terms available. Differentiating between the Samsung Blockchain Keystore, Samsung’s Blockchain Wallet, and the Samsung Blockchain Platform can be challenging. The following guide takes an in-depth look at Samsung’s Blockchain Keystore!

What is the Samsung Blockchain Keystore?

In essence, the Samsung Blockchain Keystore is meant as a blockchain framework for accessing decentralized applications (dApps), allowing to manage cryptocurrency transactions, and is a single comprehensive gateway to blockchain in a smartphone.

One of the historical barriers to bridging the gap between blockchain support and mobile devices has been security concerns. As such, the Samsung Blockchain Keystore features extensive integration with Samsung’s Knox security system, as well as Samsung’s “TEE”.

In setting it up, the Samsung Blockchain Keystore asks users to either import an existing cryptocurrency wallet or create a completely new one. Following this, the system guides users in writing down the recovery phrase in a secure location and double-checks that the user has done so correctly.

Once this is complete, the wallet is now ready to be used. The Samsung Blockchain Keystore will, following this, allow users to sign various blockchain transactions using a secure element in their phone. 

They can now also download the Samsung Blockchain Wallet to either send or receive cryptocurrency transactions. The Samsung Blockchain Wallet can be thought of as a cryptocurrency complement to the Samsung Blockchain Keystore’s existing blockchain framework.

The Samsung Blockchain Keystore also allows dApp developers to directly access it by using something known as the Samsung Blockchain Keystore SDK. This presents dApp developers with a way to integrate their dApps with the Samsung Blockchain Keystore, and allow these to use secure private key authentication.

This is not all, however. Samsung is also offering a Samsung Blockchain Platform SDK, which seeks to provide an even more comprehensive blockchain development alternative. Specifically, this SDK wants to help dApp developers build secure and capable dApps which are compatible with mobile devices.

Samsung Blockchain Keystore features

The Samsung Blockchain Keystore comes equipped with a flurry of various features to support managing blockchain-based functionality, cryptocurrency applications, and dApps. As Samsung puts it, the Samsung Blockchain Keystore is largely an aid for users in managing private information and private keys both easily and securely.

Consequently, the Samsung Blockchain Keystore features support for creating, managing, storing, and backing up private keys. Additionally, Samsung states that users can import various private keys after generating these using third-party applications. Moreover, Samsung incorporates various privacy features in protecting this data.

For example, the user can choose to protect his or her information through the use of a preset, mandatory PIN code. Furthermore, the Samsung Blockchain Keystore also offers users an alternative in incorporating biometric security measures for keeping the data safe. As such, they can choose to add additional safeguards, such as fingerprint authentication or face recognition in the Keystore’s “Biometrics and security” tab for even more protection.

Samsung’s Blockchain Keystore also uses something that Samsung refers to as its “Trusted User Interface”. This, which is sometimes known as Samsung’s “Trusted UI” is meant to guarantee that any of the information the devices sends between consumers and trusted applications cannot be hijacked, hacked, or otherwise become accessible for unauthorized applications or other types of malware. 

Moreover, the Samsung Blockchain Keystore also features something known as the Trusted Execution Environment, or TEE. The TEE is essential for keeping authentication data separate. Put simply, the TEE is a protected zone of the device’s CPU.

The TEE is isolated from the rest of the OS by design

Seeing as the TEE operates in an isolated environment separate from the main OS, it means that data can be kept separate from other processes. This is naturally beneficial from a privacy standpoint. In addition to this hardware support, Samsung Blockchain Keystore also features Samsung Knox integration. 

Why is the Samsung Blockchain Keystore a big deal?

After hearing about the Samsung Blockchain Keystore, some may think “so what”. The features available in the South Korean consumer electronics giant’s Blockchain Keystore are by no means unique. Instead, they are merely Samsung’s take on features and functionality that already exists in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. Seeing as this is the case, why is the Samsung Blockchain Keystore a big deal, then, if these features already exist?

In fact, seeing Samsung – the de facto king of Android phones – adopt a system for integrating blockchain functionality into the company’s flagship line of mobile phones is one of the most significant things that can happen for broader blockchain adoption. Integrating support for blockchain technology with smartphones is literally bringing blockchain functionality into consumers’ hands.

Just think of the mobile application boom. The past 15 years have seen mobile applications go from being practically nonexistent to becoming a multi-billion dollar industry with which is to be reckoned. Where did all of this start? Naturally, the release of the Apple App Store, along with its Android equivalent (what is now known as Google Play) was the key stimulus for this.

Although the Samsung Blockchain Keystore is currently only available on Samsung devices, as its name suggests, that does not mean that it is not a force with which to be reckoned. Specifically, the high volume of Samsung devices shipped annually means that the Samsung Blockchain Keystore will begin making its way to more and more consumers.

Just like the App Store and Google Play have enabled a massive uptick in consumer interest for decentralized applications, so could Samsung’s Blockchain Keystore supercharge interest in blockchain technology and decentralized applications (dApps).

As such, it would be fair to characterize Samsung’s Blockchain Keystore as a “big deal”, seeing the transformative effects it could have.

Samsung and blockchain

Nevertheless, Samsung is far from new to the blockchain industry. Instead, the Samsung Blockchain Keystore, Samsung’s blockchain wallet endeavors, and associated software are but the latest expression of the company’s ongoing efforts to embrace the blockchain industry. Let’s, therefore, take a closer look at the history between Samsung and blockchain.

First and foremost, it is worth understanding the context in which Samsung first grew fond of the idea of blockchain adoption. Although blockchain has been all the rage in various industries over the past few years, South Korea has been a particular hotbed of cryptocurrency adoption and blockchain innovation.

Consequently, it is understandable that Samsung, a South Korean company, would seek to be one of the first actors in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. Moreover, Samsung did not create a special device with blockchain functionality, such as its competitor HTC did with its “HTC Exodus 1”.

HTC Exodus 1

Back in 2019, Samsung first burst onto the blockchain stage with the launch of its Samsung Galaxy S10 flagship. This device came with the Samsung Blockchain Wallet App, which would allow consumers to make crypto transactions as well as access dApps directly from their smartphone.

All of this blockchain functionality was built on the Samsung Blockchain Keystore. Specifically, as we have previously discussed, the Samsung Blockchain Keystore enabled a holistic and secure solution to managing cryptocurrencies on the go.

This had previously been a difficult vision to realize. Traditionally, bringing blockchain to mobile was met with hesitation by some since the overwhelming majority of blockchain applications are web or PC-based. Moreover, this was generally due to security concerns. 

However, with the Samsung Blockchain Keystore and its Samsung Blockchain Wallet, the South Korean consumer electronics manufacturer is trying to bring sufficient security arrangements to enable safe, on-the-go cryptocurrency use with smartphone devices.

Samsung Blockchain Wallet

As you may have understood, a key part of Samsung’s blockchain offering is that of the Samsung Blockchain Wallet. According to Samsung, Samsung Blockchain Wallet is a “gateway to the blockchain ecosystem” for Samsung users. Specifically, Samsung Blockchain Wallet is a type of cryptocurrency wallet for handling crypto transactions directly from one’s smartphone.

The Samsung Blockchain Wallet features support for a myriad of well-known cryptocurrencies. As such, users can manage popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tron directly from their mobile devices, along with various ERC20 tokens.

Naturally, anyone using Samsung’s Blockchain Wallet can also either send or receive cryptocurrency. They can also easily view their account balance whilst on the go. For those who frequently transfer to certain contacts and want to personalize recipients’ names, it is possible to add nicknames to accounts.

How should you use Samsung’s Blockchain Wallet?

Samsung’s Blockchain Wallet, which relies on the Samsung Blockchain Keystore in order to function, is clearly an attractive alternative for boosting cryptocurrency usage. The sheer popularity of Samsung’s flagship lineup of smartphones means that the features will reach a large swath of people.

Moreover, Samsung claims to be putting the security of its blockchain wallet and Blockchain Keystore front and center. This is backed up by both hardware support, in the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) element and software, in the form of Samsung Knox support.

Consequently, it seems that Samsung checks many of the boxes for a smartphone device that could popularize the support for blockchain applications and cryptocurrency trading in mobile devices. 

One of the primary advantages of these features is that they come not in the form of some obscure crypto hardware wallet with limited smartphone support. Instead, Samsung manages to add support for blockchain applications, dApps and crypto trading in phones that are already cutting-edge smartphones.

Nevertheless, there are still substantial limitations to what Samsung’s Blockchain Wallet and Blockchain Keystore feature support. Moreover, despite Samsung’s impressive security features, users should remain cautious about using Samsung’s blockchain-compatible phones as anything other than a hot wallet.

Dedicated cold wallet storage is still the king of safe storage. Moreover, relying on Samsung’s Blockchain Wallet can certainly work, but keep the old adage “not your keys not your Bitcoin” in mind whenever relying on a mobile application.

Samsung Blockchain Keystore Conclusion

The Samsung Blockchain Keystore is an ambitious undertaking by Samsung to bridge the gap between blockchain support and smartphone devices. It comes with the Samsung Blockchain Wallet, which is a dedicated application for sending or receiving certain cryptocurrencies.

Furthermore, Samsung’s Blockchain Keystore brings on-device support for blockchain applications and decentralized applications (dApps) without the need for a PC. Seeing as Samsung is integrating this functionality into its flagship lineups of phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 UItra phones, it could potentially have a substantial impact.

With that said, however, it remains to see whether developers take full advantage of the Samsung Blockchain Keystore SDK. Additionally, Samsung needs to continue adding more functionality to the Blockchain Keystore in order to truly make it attractive for third-party developers.

Are you looking to become a blockchain developer yourself, or just learn more about blockchain and crypto? If that is the case, you should look no further than Ivan on Tech Academy. Ivan on Tech Academy is the go-to blockchain academy for anyone looking to learn more about this cutting edge technology. What are you waiting for?

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