Samsung has confirmed their flagship phone, S10, comes with what they call “a secure storage backed by hardware, which houses your private keys for blockchain-enabled mobile services.”
It is unclear at this stage whether this is “just” a trusted execution environment (TEE) or a full blown hardware wallet.
A leaked video however shows what looks like any other app with the icon of a key in the middle of a cog to presumably symbolize the defense-grade Samsung Knox security.
Once you tap, you receive a tutorial. The video shows what appears to be a brief explanation of the blockchain as well as private keys.
Quite interestingly, this appears to have a dapp browser as well. The video focuses just on payments, with some eth being sent while showing the wallet has BTC too. As the screenshot shows above, it looks like you can also tap on dapp and presumably get a dapp browser like screen.
A representative from BULVRD, a dapp that lets you earn crypto while you drive, says he is working with Samsung as they have partnered on wallet integrations. He says:
“I know everyone says downloading a wallet app is easy. But everyone forgets that people need to start by knowing they need a wallet, and then how/where to get one. So having this streamlined right on the phone makes it much easier for the average person to get started…
Only thing to note, it is whitelist as of now. I’m not privy to their long term plans, but I could see them opening up access down the road.”
Bulvrd itself publicly said: “Excited to be working with Samsung to have direct support for their wallet within our Android app and bring the Bulvrd experience to the coming millions of Samsung S10 owners!”
Samsung itself does not use the word wallet. Instead, it describes it as being “for blockchain-enabled mobile services.”
Dapps, therefore, could presumably connect to this service and provide a more native experience. The Bulvrd representative says:
“All the existing 3rd party wallets do not provide native access, only via web fronts. So your wallet is not loading ‘apps’ in the traditional sense, but rather just pointing to websites that are requesting web3 functions.
So for example, if Twitter wanted to bake in ‘tipping’ of Eth in their mobile apps, they would need wallets like the Samsung wallet to provide APIs and access.
This also makes it one less step for the end user. Everyone says its easy to download apps, which it is, but its a matter of knowing they even existing. As an app developer, that is half the battle.”
That suggests if you click on the dapp tap shown in the picture, then you’ll probably get a number of dapps. We tried to confirm it is actually a dapp browser, but have not received a response at the time of publishing.
Otherwise instead of being like Status or Coinbase’s Toshi, this might be like MetaMask, not providing a place to surf dapps, but effectively connecting all the apps on the phone to the blockchain.
Samsung has not made a big deal over this, burying it instead under “security” with their trailer not even mentioning it. Hence why details are a bit hard to come by, but it does sound like they’re now running nodes in their headquarters in South Korea.
Cryptos, and eth in particular, are very popular in South Korea. The 2017 bull run, in fact, might have been in great part due to South Koreans finding out first about ethereum, and then all the other cryptos.
Samsung itself has undertaken a number of blockchain related projects and they are part of the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance.
This move now might suggest crypto usability will increase for mobile users who with S10 can enjoy an inbuilt crypto wallet at a starting price of about $900 for the phone which, as the featured image shows, seems to be waterproof.