A blockchain phone is a device that provides a gateway to Web3 and includes various blockchain and crypto features. Blockchain and crypto phones are only a few years old. In recent years, several prominent phone manufacturers have tested the waters by developing smartphones with Web3 functionalities. However, the recent surge in the popularity of blockchain technology is persuading many more leading phone manufacturers to enter the thriving market. A growing number of innovative crypto-first handsets are helping to lower the barrier to entry for Web3 technologies and provide advanced security features.
Smartphones are everywhere. In many parts of the world, people have gone from having little access to technology to having smartphones in just a few years. Smartphones connect us from almost anywhere in the world and enable us to access never-ending sources of news and information via the internet. But what are crypto phones, and how do they differ from normal ones?
In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of blockchain and crypto phones. We’ll explore the companies making them and why they’re becoming so popular. Also, we’ll explore what makes these phones different from regular smartphones and discuss the benefits of owning a blockchain phone.
What is a Blockchain Phone?
A blockchain phone is a smartphone device with in-built Web3 connectivity. It makes it easy for anyone to access the decentralized web using a handheld device. Often, Web3 mobile applications are clunky compared to their desktop counterparts. While significant improvements have been made to user experiences for mobile Web3 apps in recent years, interacting with blockchains and smart contracts is notoriously challenging when using a smartphone.
Blockchain and crypto phones address this issue by incorporating highly-secure Web3 features with sleek user interfaces. They serve as gateways into the metaverse and make it easy for anyone to interact with decentralized applications (dapps). Also, several prominent blockchain phones facilitate the self-custody of crypto assets via secure private key storage. Plus, many crypto phones allow users to mine cryptocurrencies from a mobile device and run node clients.
One of the earliest examples of a blockchain phone is the Exodus 1, released by Japanese phone manufacturer HTC in 2018. It boasts a built-in crypto wallet and enables users to run a Bitcoin node from the device. Another example is the Finney blockchain phone, released in 2018 by Sirin Labs. However, the crypto and blockchain phone market is becoming increasingly saturated, with many manufacturers competing for prominence and trying to meet growing user demand. But, how do blockchain and crypto phones compare to traditional smartphones?
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Are Crypto Phones Any Good?
Crypto phones are a convenient all-in-one solution for storing crypto and managing your assets. They also provide Web3 integrations that make interfacing with your favorite decentralized applications (dapps) on the go simple and secure. Crypto phones use advanced encryption methods to prevent hackers from stealing your data or intercepting your crypto assets. Plus, many crypto phones come with built-in dapps and marketplaces.
Furthermore, decentralized app stores use distributed databases. Unlike centralized stores that use siloed servers, Web3 app stores don’t have a single point of failure. Also, developers receive much higher fee portions when listing on Web3 marketplaces than centralized alternatives like the Apple App Store and Google Play. Additionally, crypto phones help to keep user data private using advanced message encryption. This prevents onlookers from determining the location of a sender or receiver.
Top Blockchain Phone Models
Now that we’ve taken a moment to understand the differences between a regular phone and a blockchain phone, let’s look at some of the top blockchain phone models and manufacturers in 2022 and compare their latest offerings. Though the technology is still in the early stages of its development, several prominent smartphone manufacturers are competing to capture a portion of the market.
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Created by Samsung and Ground X on the Klaytn network, KlaytonPhone is the flagship blockchain phone offering from the leading smartphone manufacturer. Devices come preloaded with 2,000 free KLAY tokens, which can be used in the native dapp store to interact with an array of Web3 games and blockchain applications.
The KlaytonPhone is very similar to the Galaxy Note 10 in design. However, the KlaytnPhone provides Web3-native features that set it apart from the Note 10. Users can access various blockchain-powered services. Plus, the KlaytonPhone features a private key manager for asset security.
Polygon is a layer-2 network and Ethereum scaling project. Polygon’s Nothing Phone is the result of a collaboration between Polygon and London-based Nothing Technology Limited. It allows users to access crypto payments and provides a blockchain-based privacy-centric identification feature called Polygon ID.
Polygon ID enables users to log into apps and verify their identities in a decentralized manner. There are no centralized gatekeepers or intermediaries. Plus, data is spread across a decentralized network of nodes, making it difficult for hackers to access it. Moreover, the Nothing Phone is a sleek Web3-first device that makes interacting with dapps frictionless.
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The Solana Saga blockchain phone was developed by Solana Labs, the technology company behind the Solana blockchain, and asset management firm OSOM. One of the many distinguishing features of the Solana Saga blockchain phone is the Solana Mobile Stack (SMS) software development kit (SDK). This Web3-first SDK enables users to create their own tools and apps to personalize their experiences.
Also, the Saga boasts private key storage, an integrated dapp store, and QR code payments via Solana Pay. The phone is due to launch early in 2023. The team believes the Saga will help to galvanize the Solana ecosystem and encourage smartphone users to join the Web3 movement.
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Desire 22 Pro
The HTC Desire 22 Pro is the most recent crypto phone offering from HTC. The Android smartphone features a bespoke metaverse environment and encourages the adoption of Web3 via virtual reality (VR) device integrations. Also, users can buy, sell, and store digital assets and NFTs using the device’s built-in wallet and marketplace.
Following in the footsteps of the groundbreaking Exodus 1 released in 2018, the HTC Desire 22 Pro aims to encourage the adoption of Web3 via seamless dapp integrations and crypto-native features. Also, the device’s robust and elegant design is similar to that of HTC’s most popular handsets.
Named after renowned computer scientist Hal Finney, the Finney blockchain phone by Sirin Labs uses a variation of Android technology called Sirin OS. It boasts next-generation security features and features an integrated hardware wallet. Like many other popular blockchain phones, the Finney enables users to send and receive crypto payments and download their favorite dapps from the dapp store.
Pros and Cons of Buying a Blockchain Phone
If you interact with DeFi protocols and NFT marketplaces regularly, a blockchain phone could make it easier for you to manage your assets and adjust your positions on the go. Suppose you have a smartphone but not a computer. In that case, a blockchain phone could help you to gain exposure to financial services that are otherwise inaccessible in many parts of the world or restricted to those without sufficient documentation.
Furthermore, blockchain and crypto phones provide next-level data security as they don’t rely on centralized servers. Though they share various design and operating features with traditional smartphones, they offer additional benefits such as secure private key storage, crypto wallets, and built-in dapp marketplaces. Also, users can participate in consensus and mine different types of cryptocurrencies from their handsets.
On the other hand, blockchain phones are still in their infancy. As with any new technology, blockchain phones will likely experience teething issues during the early stages of their development, which could affect user experiences. Also, blockchain phones are often just as expensive as leading traditional smartphones.
Nonetheless, blockchain phones help to promote the adoption of crypto payments and Web3 applications while disrupting a multi-billion dollar industry. Moreover, blockchain smartphones encourage decentralization and data privacy in a way that highlights the key benefits of blockchain technology.
Blockchain Messaging Services
Advanced encryption and Web3 connectivity on a handheld device make blockchain services more accessible. However, several blockchain messaging services provide additional security to blockchain and crypto phones. As messaging apps are among the most popular among smartphone users, it’s essential that these phones incorporate highly secure messaging services that protect user data and privacy.
Web2 messaging services are notorious for misusing user data. Web3 messaging services enhance online experiences by putting users in control of their own data. Also, many prominent Web2 messaging services rely on centralized servers that act as a single point of failure in the event of an attack. However, Web3 messaging services use blockchain technology to keep user data secure.
Blockchains are distributed databases. Instead of relying on one group of servers in a central location, they use a global network of nodes to secure data. Many public blockchains require hackers to expend significant resources, making them a secure solution from a data security perspective.
Moreover, blockchain messaging apps enhance the security of crypto phones. A traditional messaging app is only as secure as the servers securing the network. If masts go down or service is interrupted, it affects the network more dramatically than outages on decentralized networks. Many crypto phones come with built-in Web3 messaging apps as standard, while most make it easy for users to download them via a dapp store. If you opt for a crypto phone when you next upgrade, it’s worth paying attention to the various blockchain messaging services available.
Taking a Closer Look at Blockchain Smartphones – Summary
Using a blockchain phone makes it easier than ever before to access the decentralized web on the go. Often, cryptocurrency mining operations conjure images of vast warehouses filled with electricity-guzzling mining rigs from floor to ceiling. Although these powerful machines play a crucial role in supporting blockchain networks, the industry has advanced to the point that individuals can participate in blockchain consensus and cryptocurrency creation using a battery-powered handheld device.
Furthermore, blockchain phone manufacturers are creating gateways into the Web3 space that lower the barrier to entry for decentralized finance (DeFi) and the metaverse. It’s estimated that over 80% of adults globally own or have regular access to a smartphone. The growing adoption of Web3 technologies suggests that blockchain phone manufacturers could play a prominent role in putting blockchain and crypto in the hands of millions of users in the coming years.
Moreover, blockchain and crypto phones integrate various Web3-native features and services that allow users to make the most of the decentralized web wherever they can connect to the internet. In the future, many expect to see more leading Web3 companies and smartphone manufacturers collaborate and create new additions to this rapidly-evolving market.