Blockchain Technology and Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are great for checking cryptocurrency prices on the go as well as checking the latest news on cryptocoremedia.com. They are also useful for keeping hot wallets of various cryptocurrencies. Beyond these uses, is there any convergence of blockchain and mobile technology? In this article, we look at cryptocurrency mining on mobile phones, the potential impact of blockchain technology on mobile app development and how mobile phone producers are positioning themselves to benefit from making blockchain smartphones.
Technological Challenges to Having Peer-to-Peer Systems on Smartphones
The are many reasons why blockchain smartphones could be impractical at the moment. There is the need for almost constant power supply, huge storage space requirements as well as expensive mobile internet data.
Smartphones already consume lots of power. Adding blockchain systems that are always live would further increase the amount of power they consume. Having to constantly charge these blockchain smartphones would disqualify them from being called “mobile” in the first place.
Most cryptocurrencies already have huge blockchains and require users running full nodes to have a certain amount of free space on their devices. Once again, mobile phones are not the best devices to use to meet this requirement.
Running a full node also means having to be online most of the time. Doing this with a mobile device that is actually moved around would lead to a lot being spent on mobile internet data.
There are already hardware devices that perform these functions well. Building smartphones that can perform the same function is possible but unlikely to be cost-effective or even attract demand.
The Blockchain Smartphones
The above-stated challenges have not scared companies looking into leading the way in coming out with such devices. Sirin laboratories, Embedded Downloads, and Sony Xperia are all working on blockchain smartphones. These products do not necessarily tackle the problems mentioned above but have proposed features that should be useful to its users.
Sirin Labs used its 12 December 2017 ICO to raise $158 million to build Finney, their blockchain smartphone. Finney, when it’s released, would allow users to easily store and use cryptocurrencies. The phone would provide easy access to cryptocurrency-accepting online merchants and also give users the option of monetizing their WiFi by sharing with other people who would be willing to pay.
When it comes to safely keeping coins, a switch, iris scan, fingerprint, and password would be required to have access to funds. This combination of measures sounds secure. However, having valuable cryptocurrencies on a mobile device makes the $5 wrench attack more likely. Users under the threat of physical attack could be forced to give access to their funds.
Sony Xperia phones also soon plans to have a blockchain-powered platform being built by Zipper. Zipper is to come with a vault for keeping digital assets safe and wallet to allow easy spending of the tokens. The platform aims to feature a reward system to encourage the use of their services.
Meanwhile, Embedded Downloads applies blockchain technology to create their smartphone for users that require extra security. The target customers of Bitvault are in the defense and finance sectors. The device provides its own app store, secure communication between users, secure browsing and cryptocurrency wallets.
With manufacturing companies getting into blockchain smartphones, we should be getting closer to the day when the average person with little or no knowledge about how cryptocurrencies work, can use them with ease.
We don’t necessarily have to have blockchain smartphones to incorporate applications of blockchain technology in smartphones. The development of apps is one area in which this can be done. The following are some of the ways in which app developers can benefit from the application of blockchain technology in their field.
With cryptocurrencies, it becomes easier for developers to grow a community around their apps. Apart from the service rendered by the app developers, the expectations of apps’ related token to do well in price can help keep users active. Reward systems are also easier to put in place using the tokens.
Blockchain technology also provides a better means of trading virtual products like skins for video games. There are always some users who would never have used fiat currencies to make in-app purchases but are willing to use cryptocurrencies instead.
Is Mining On Mobile Phones Feasible or Profitable?
The short answer is no. The most often brought up example is Electroneum. This cryptocurrency is said to allow users to mine using their smartphones. In reality, the mining of Electroneum on mobile is simulated. The rewards for mining Electroneum is small but could be welcome additional income in poor areas.
Most people who actually attempt to mine (not simulated) using mobile phones often end up destroying their devices because the phones became extremely hot. Not making gains from mining is bad enough. Losing one’s device as well totally makes mobile mining unreasonable.
It is also unlikely mobile mining could eventually become a thing, considering the release of increasingly sophisticated specialized miners and the increase in the prices of cryptocurrencies in general.
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