If Samsung Integrates Bitcoin Wallet Into Galaxy S10, Bullish For Bitcoin?
According to Gregory Blake, who released several screenshots of a suspected Galaxy S10 prototype, the new model of the South Korean mobile phone manufacturing giant has an integrated feature called “Samsung Blockchain KeyStore” that enables users to have full control over their private keys and crypto funds. If Samsung Integrates Bitcoin Wallet Into Galaxy S10, Bullish For Bitcoin?
Once the Blockchain KeyStore is authenticated and enabled on the device, users are able to begin sending and receiving cryptocurrency using the native crypto wallet on the mobile phone.
The screenshot shared by Blake revealed Ethereum as the only supported cryptocurrency on the device, possibly because the phone is still a prototype. However, one image included graphics that appeared to be bitcoins, so it’s likely more currencies would be included at launch.
Galaxy s10 with crypto wallet? pic.twitter.com/6IICujXEnm
— Gregory Blake (@GregiPfister89) January 22, 2019
Verifying that the phone in question is a Galaxy S10, a technology journalist at BGR Chris Smith explained:
We know it’s a Galaxy S10 phone because the punch-hole camera is placed near the top right corner. The A8s’ selfie cam is on the left side. Also, we know it’s a Galaxy S10 phone rather than a Galaxy S10+ model because it features a single-lens selfie camera. It’s clear the handset isn’t the Lite version, because the screen has curved edges, rather than flat.
Previously, CCN reported on Dec 13, 2018, that Samsung plans to integrate a crypto cold storage into its S10 model following the company’s filing of trademarks for Samsung blockchain.
At the time, SamMobile executive editor Adnan Farooqui confirmed that the company is developing a cold storage crypto wallet and intends to integrate it in the Galaxy S10.
Why it Makes Sense for Samsung to Integrate a Bitcoin Wallet
In July of last year, Samsung Insights reported that the most secure device to run a cryptocurrency wallet on is a mobile phone due to the presence of a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE).
Dissimilar to laptops, PCs, and other types of devices, smartphones have a native environment that operates independently of the memory and storage. As such, data stored in a TEE cannot be altered by the operating system, completely eliminating the possibility of a security breach affecting data stored in the trusted environment.
By utilizing a TEE on a mobile phone, a crypto wallet can operate much more securely and efficiently than laptops and desktops, which still remain as a popular platform for wallets and exchanges.
“This is why smartphones have an edge over laptops and desktops for cryptocurrency wallets: without the benefits of the hardware-based TEE, the keys are more vulnerable,” Joel Snyder, a senior IT consultant and Samsung Insights contributor, said. “There is a significant caveat: a naïve wallet developer might choose to simply store the keys on the normal internal storage of the phone, in which case there’s little additional protection from using the smartphone platform. Or the wallet itself might be malware, in which case all bets are off.”
But with the right wallet leveraging the benefits of smartphone TEE, there’s no place safer to store your money.
If the official Galaxy S10 model launches with a native Bitcoin and Ethereum wallet, it may pose a significant threat to companies such as HTC and projects working on blockchain phones that exclusively support cryptocurrencies.
A user may transfer an existing cryptocurrency wallet or create a new cryptocurrency wallet with Samsung Blockchain KeyStore
Newly leaked images of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S10 device show support for cryptocurrencies within the device. The “Samsung Blockchain KeyStore” is described as both “a secure and convenient place for your cryptocurrency” and a place to “secure and manage your blockchain private key.”
A user may import an existing wallet to transfer existing cryptocurrency. The image shows that multiple cryptocurrencies are supported, although only Ethereum is named directly. Additionally, a user may create a new cryptocurrency wallet with Samsung Blockchain KeyStore.
Previous leaks in December had implied that Samsung’s Galaxy S10 would include a wallet app with two parts: 1) a cold wallet for storing cryptocurrency and private keys and 2) a hot wallet for crypto transactions.
The inclusion of a cryptocurrency wallet in Samsung’s flagship smartphone line would likely provide a boost to mainstream adoption and awareness.
The Galaxy S line phones typically move tens of millions of units worldwide. The company is looking for new features to attract buyers amidst a recent slump in sales, with the Galaxy S9 underperforming its predecessors.
The Galaxy S10 will officially be revealed at Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event on February 20th, celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Galaxy Android smartphone line.
Samsung’s Blockchain SSD Patent Could Disrupt Crypto Mining
Electronics giant Samsung filed for a patent in May 2019 titled, “Programmable Blockchain Solid State Drive and Switch.” Even though few details are known about the newly designed system, a surge in patent applications filed by large corporations on blockchain is clearly visible.
Any great invention from the past century has a history of some kind of patent war, but the digital age has accelerated this phenomenon. From the PC wars between Apple and Microsoft to the smartphone wars of the past decade, patents have been used for both offensive and defensive measures.
It has been clear since the beginning that blockchain would see an increasing interest from corporations, which would turn to securing their patents as soon as possible. In just over a year, IBM has tripled the number of blockchain patents secured in the United States to over 100, while Alibaba leads the way with over 260 patents related to blockchain.
The number of global blockchain patent filings now considerably outpaces the patent filings for other technologies. However, Samsung has stayed relatively restrained with blockchain. That is, until it registered for a programmable blockchain SSD.
Technical Details About The Samsung Patent
This programmable data storage device consists of a nonvolatile memory and a storage controller that is configured to control the system. It has a network interface and a field programmable gate array that is configured to implement a blockchain algorithm. While doing so, it stores at least a block of a blockchain corresponding to the blockchain algorithm in its nonvolatile memory through the storage controller.
Moreover, the gate array will be configured to a processor that has a memory with instructions stored. When executed, the processor sends and receives one or more blocks of the blockchain via the network interface. Additionally, the processor controls the programmable gate array to execute the blockchain algorithm on one or more blocks of the blockchain.
Advantages Of The New Patent
To understand the significance of this new patent, the drawbacks of general purpose computer devices and ASICs should first be examined.
General purpose computer devices (usually GPUs) must be combined with the right software, drivers and configurations to execute a moderately efficient mining algorithm. Even though one GPU can mine multiple coins through this technique, its efficiency is very low. What’s more, to change the coin being mined is a hassle and very few miners are able to do so, while the cost of GPUs can vary significantly, as their price is influenced by the gaming and virtual reality industries.
On the other hand, ASIC miners are professional mining equipment designed for computing a specific algorithm. This narrowed scope gives the hardware the ability to mine efficiently compared to general-purpose computing devices. However, the rigidity in mining algorithms makes the miner obsolete once a newer, more efficient device becomes available, and many coins are specifically designed to be incompatible with ASICs.
Sam Town, an independent crypto analyst told Cointelegraph that Samsung’s patent doesn’t necessarily mean that the company is going to develop the product:
“Patents are not necessarily a tool to just protect your idea. It can be a defensive weapon to stop other companies from making similar products. Moreover, it can be used to send a signal to the market about the company’s intentions. This is most likely the case with Samsung”
However, Nicolas Kokkalis, the head of technology at Pi, the first digital currency compatible with mobile mining, doesn’t agree with Town. Kokkalis stated:
“Flexibility comes at the cost of speed and power consumption. FPGAs can be re-programmed with software, but they are slower than ASICs and they consume more electrical power. So for consensus algorithms, like Bitcoin’s proof of work, where speed and power consumption is critical, ASICs will always be the choice of miners when possible. There are, however, attempts of consensus algorithms that aim to be ASIC-resistant, e.g., by producing memory-limited algorithms, GPU-hungry functions or by periodically changing the algorithm leaving no-time for ASIC designers to create ASICs in time before the next algorithm rotation.”
Cointelegraph reached out to the inventors of the patent — Rajinikanth Pandurangan and Vijay Balakrishnan — for their comment on the matter, as well as Samsung, but each refrained from commenting on the matter.
Crypto Mining And Samsung
The aforementioned patent is not the first time Samsung has tried to disrupt the crypto mining space. The company has been designing and manufacturing three nanometer and five nanometer chips for Bitcoin mining since the first quarter of 2018.
The manufacturing process is based on extreme ultraviolet lithography technology, which makes the new 7LPP chips more dense and energy efficient. Samsung states that 7LPP will enable the development of other emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, networking, 5G, automotive as well as technology for enterprise and hyperscale data centers.
Samsung has also entered into a strategic partnership with MicroBT — the third-largest designer of Bitcoin ASICs. MicroBT’s latest device, the M20S WhatsMiner, has 68 terahashes per second (Th/s) and a power efficiency of 48 watts per terahash. To compare this with industry standards, Bitmain Antminer S9 achieves 13.5 Th/s with a power efficiency of 98 watts per terahash — making Samsung’s chips allegedly five times more powerful than those used by Bitmain.
Samsung’s potential pivot toward crypto mining should not come as a surprise, as it is the world’s second-largest producer of semiconductor, just behind Intel, which has actually been making its own mining chips.
In November 2018, Intel filed a patent for “energy-efficient high-performance Bitcoin mining.” The patent for a system-on-a-chip includes hardware that accelerates Bitcoin mining, reduces power consumption and is optimized to reduce the space and energy utilized during the mining process.
What Is The Impact Of Big Players Entering The Market?
The sheer size of Samsung’s semiconductor plant could give the firm an automatic advantage, and the same goes for Intel — and this is only taking its existing infrastructure into account. Samsung is one of the biggest spenders on R&D, spending over $8 billion during the first half of this year alone. With the ever-changing mining algorithms and the need to be continually efficient, new tech from these giants could easily supersede existing hardware.
Town Believes There Is No Way Around This Problem. In His Opinion, Unregulated Capitalism Is Bound To Create Monopolies:
“It is the very nature of competition. There will be a winner (or a few) and most will either be acquired or they will die out. The idea that companies will compete in perpetuity and benefit consumers as a result is flawed. The advantages that Samsung has over miners like Bitmain and Canaan can never be overcome.”
However, Samsung’s foray into mining could also have positive impacts on the ecosystem. Being one of the largest companies in the world, the tech giant can make an impression on regulations worldwide. Theoretically, Samsung possesses the influence and resources to lobby governments and even change the public perception around crypto.
Samsung Hopping On The Crypto Bandwagon
Hardware manufacturing is not the only front in which Samsung has shown interest in blockchain technology. In 2019, Samsung invested around $8.1 million in the blockchain-based company Blocco and $4 million in KZen Networks. The tech company even confirmed that it is in the process of developing its own blockchain mainnet based on the Ethereum platform. Moreover, the company announced it was working on its own crypto token: the Samsung Coin.
President and CEO of Samsung SDS Hong Yuan Zhen disclosed in May 2019 that blockchain can improve productivity in the manufacturing industry. He even praised the productivity gains that real-time data analysis and predictions could bring in conjunction with blockchain technology.
In July 2019, the company announced that Samsung Galaxy S10 users could add the Pundi XWallet app to their Samsung Blockchain Wallet. Customers can move cryptos in the Samsung Blockchain Wallet into the XWallet. XWAllet now supports 33 different cryptocurrencies and has seen integration of decentralized applications (DApps). Over 10 DApps Are Already On The Wallet.
If Samsung Integrates Bitcoin, If Samsung Integrates Bitcoin, If Samsung Integrates Bitcoin, If Samsung Integrates Bitcoin, If Samsung Integrates Bitcoin,