Sirin Labs is set to launch one of the first cryptocurrency smartphones next November. The phone is known as the Finney, named after Bitcoin pioneer Hal Finney.
The company revealed the phone’s design on Twitter on Wednesday:
— SIRIN LABS (Not giving away ETH) (@SIRINLABS) July 11, 2018
There are currently only a handful of cryptocurrency phones in the works. The Finney has been described as a “state of the art mobile device” for the blockchain era. The phone runs on a forked version of Android that, according to the company, has been made significantly more secure.
One notable feature of the phone is the Token Conversion Service (TCS). This acts as a broker to exchange Sirin coins (SRN) into other tokens when making a specific purchase. Sirin’s head of research and development Amit Krelman described this as a blockchain-focused equivalent to Uber. Krelman, however, was not clear on how the system would handle long transaction times and processing fees, an ongoing issue with Bitcoin users.
Carrying large amounts of cryptocurrency around on your phone, of course, is not a good idea. According to Sirin CMO, Nimrod May, people will only load their phone with the quantity of cryptos that they will use on a particular day while leaving the rest stored in a more secure location.
Is there demand for this type of phone?
A key move in the marketing of the phone was to use a mass-marketing provider. This allows the phone to be sold for only $1000, which is significantly cheaper than some of the company’s other phones.
The company has also signed soccer superstar Lionel Messi to promote the phone. This is expected to increase demand for the phone when it launches next November.