Samsung recently unveiled their new line of smartphones that feature a few cryptocurrency attributes, which follows the trend laid down by the Dash-Supporting Kripto Mobile phones released in Latin America last year.
During the announcement, Samsung described their technology as “defense-grade Samsung Knox” and “a secure storage backed by hardware, which houses your private keys for blockchain-enabled mobile services”. However, rumors leading up to the event described a cryptocurrency wallet. Nevertheless, third-party reports and leaks suggest a “Samsung Blockchain Wallet” and native support for DApps in their phones is still on the way.
Previously, HTC released their blockchain-native phone, HTC Exodus that featured support for multiple blockchains. Sirin Labs also launched Finney last year as a blockchain phone that also featured its own cold storage and DApp ecosystem.
Race to provide consumer friendly solutions
Dash and Kripto Mobile teamed up last August to release a series of Dash-enabled cryptocurrency phones in Venezuela and eventually neighboring countries. The phones came with pre-downloaded Dash wallets, a paper wallet with some Dash, Uphold, Bitrefill, and DiscoverDash so consumers could have everything they needed to get started with buying, storing, and spending Dash. Additionally, teams were available in Venezuela to help setup consumers with the new phones. These phones, over a few months, quickly sold more than 66,000 devices. Later, a SMS KRIP phone was sold that came setup with Dash Text so Venezuelans could have an even more affordable option to spend cryptocurrency.
Yo #Dash community check out this unboxing video review of the @KriptoMobile K5 phone by @lorenzoreyc of @dash_text, @dashhelpme & @dashmerchant. Yes, @Dashpay has a branded phone partnership! 🏆💪🚀— Mark Mason (@StayDashy) September 20, 2018
📺 Watch full review here: https://t.co/SJO0bfFqeX 👀👍#Cryptocurrency #FinTech pic.twitter.com/zQaJZpJPtA
The cost contrast is perhaps the biggest difference between the various cryptocurrency phone releases. While the Samsung, HTC, and Finney phones have more advanced features than the KRIP phones, they also retail for around $1,000 USD vs. less than $100 USD for the KRIP phones. The cost of these high-end phones is expensive by first-world standards, let alone by South American standards. The inexpensiveness of the KRIP phones make cryptocurrency truly available to the masses and considering that around 60% of Venezuelans do not own smartphones, the SMS non-smartphone is targeting a large segment of the population.
The rising supply of cryptocurrency and blockchain products by companies signals a rising demand among consumers. The Samsung release has a large potential considering one of their major markets is Asia, especially South Korea, which has seen significant cryptocurrency growth and interest. Dash and Kripto Mobile targeting the Latin American market is focusing on individuals that can have the greatest benefit from cryptocurrencies.
Adapting to consumers’ needs
Dash has been able to recognize this need to adapt to consumers with inexpensive and effective learning solutions to make the switch to cryptocurrency easy. Dash has been able to carry this out via its Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), which enables the network to fund individuals to forge these kind of partnerships. This then prevents having to rely on large, multi-national firms to develop solutions, which as seen above may be really cool, but is also super expensive and excludes large swaths of people that cryptocurrency was intended to help.
The ability for consumer to purchase smartphones with cryptocurrency features already built in will help quicken the pace of adoption since there will be a lower barrier to entry for those marginal users getting closer to using cryptocurrencies. Additionally, the cheaper the phone, the more individuals around the world that can achieve monetary and financial freedom.