Samsung is one of the first major smartphone makers to include a cryptocurrency wallet in its latest flagship Galaxy S10 phones. The wallet lets users store bitcoin, Ethereum, and a beauty-related cryptocurrency called Cosmo Coin. It’s a cold storage wallet, meaning it’s not connected to the internet.
The Galaxy S10 phones also support select decentralized apps (“Dapps”). Currently, Samsung’s main Dapp that’s available is called Cosmee, and it lets users earn Cosmo tokens in exchange for leaving beauty reviews in the app. Cosmochain, the South Korean blockchain startup behind Cosmee, describes its app to The Verge as a blockchain-powered beauty review app — the blockchain is supposed to be a useful way to record all the reviews reliably.
Samsung also announced support for the cryptocurrency called the Enjin Coin, an Ethereum-based digital currency for gamers that was founded in South Korea. It also said it would support contactless payments using cryptocurrency.
Samsung is one of a few companies that have launched blockchain-related phones, and its participation in the trend could influence other players in the market. Last year, Sirin Labs unveiled the Finney phone with a wallet for storing cryptocurrency, which costs $1,000. Then there’s the HTC Exodus, which has been available for preorder since last October and can only be purchased with cryptocurrency. It’s got a wallet for storing digital tokens as well that’s notably partitioned from the rest of the phone for greater security.
Technically, it’s possible to turn any Android phone into a wallet that holds the keys to your digital tokens — just install the Android app for the web browser Opera. That wallet currently only supports ether, with other tokens planned to be added later. What would really be impressive is if the phone had additional ways of incorporating blockchain that we hadn’t seen before.
For instance, HTC’s decentralized chief officer Phil Chen has professed great hopes for blockchain-related phones, where they might give users some way to store keys to their online identity and “own [their] own identity.” But for now, it looks like these phones’ main cryptocurrency-related feature is just the cold wallet and a center for decentralized apps. Still, Samsung’s phones today look like the first step toward a future where phones like this become more commonplace.