Trading, wallets, games and mining: why smartphones need blockchain
Ten years ago no one could have imagined that blockchain could be “fit” in a smartphone. Today, gadgets can do everything with cryptocurrencies: from mining and trading, to solving specific problems.
Bitcoin, as the concept of a payment system of a new type, was lauched in October 2008. An anonymous developer published white paper of the first cryptocurrency, which became the starting point in the development of money of a new type. Since then, developers have created many coins, various projects, decentralised applications and completely unthinkable solutions.
On the other hand, over these 10 years other technologies, including the Internet and mobile phones, have actively developed. It is difficult to imagine a modern person without a smartphone, and almost everyone has it in one’s pocket. According to Deloitte, in developed countries there are more than 90% of the population is “mobile”.
Progress, however, has not stopped on smartphones and technological giants have created many other smart gadgets: watches, glasses, headphones and so on. With their help, you can do almost everything: monitor your health, buy goods and services, read, play, watch movies … do whatever your heart desires.
Crypto industry also realised that the future is improbable without such devices. And when we talk about the massive cryptocurrency introduction, it should begin exactly with what is always at hand — smart devices and smartphones.
Lightning, clock and apple
In early May, the Bluewallet project created an application for Apple Watch, which allows Apple Watch owners to receive Bitcoin payments via the Lightning Network. This technology should bring the speed of transactions to a completely new level and put cryptocurrencies on a par with such giants as Visa and MasterCard.
“Lightning-fast” applications are quite simple. The user needs to generate a QR code through the program. The sender will be able to scan it via a smartphone and thereby launching a money transfer.
The developers of Bluewallet have to admit, however that while the application will work in test mode, its main goal is to “probe” the users’ moods and create the infrastructure in order to transfers small amounts, which is now in fact not available in the crypto industry.
“From my point of view, the infrastructure around cryptocurrency is not ready for a large number of micropayments, which are convenient to make through a smartphone. What the infrastructure is ready for is rare payments for amounts that can be any large. In other words, the more frequent cryptocurrency use cases now are — single transactions of the equivalent of $5,000 rather than 5,000 dollar transactions,” says Andrei Sobol SatoshiFund developer.
As such, according to the expert, the bet should be made on hardware wallets, multisiggs and personal full nodes, and not on smartphones.
Bluewallet is not scared by this situation. The developers are confident that if there is a demand, the functionality will expand. However, even in the current state, in their opinion, such an application is quite useful, as long as you can receive a payment in just a couple of clicks.
It goes without saying, Bluewallet is not the first and not the last project that is trying to attract people to use cryptocurrencies through smart gadgets.
There are hundreds of various crypto applications in Google Play and the Apple Store. Most of those are in the category “wallets”. Indeed, now every self-respecting crypto wallet should have a mobile version. Among the top ones, Jaxx, Blockchain Wallet, Enjin, Edge, Coinnomi and many others are worth mentioning, including wallets for individual cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and TRON.
Before you start storing cryptocurrency on your smartphone, you need to buy it somewhere. And that can also be easily done via mobile apps. Such “programs” among other developers were released by Coinbase and Binance.
They are not the only ones, however. Every more or less big crypto-exchange has created its own mobile application for iOS and Android long ago. If it hasn’t — then there is a question of the advisability of using such a platform.
Crypto exchanges, however are not monopolists in cryptocurrency trading. There are several aggregator-apps that allow you to trade coins on different platforms through their terminals. TabTrader maintains the leading position here. Via this program, you can make transactions on Binance, Coinbase, Bittrex, Bitstamp, Houbi, Kraken and other crypto exchanges. Other apps of this type are TradingView and zTrader etc.
In order to trade cryptocurrency, it is necessary to obtain information about the exchange rate fluctuations. That’s where the blockchain developers did their best. On your smartphone you can install applications such as Blockfolio, Coincap (Coinmarketcap), Coinstats and others. Using them you can track not only the courses of most of the existing cryptocurrencies, but also create your own portfolio, and of course, monitor its effectiveness. If this is not enough, there is a HODL application. In addition to courses, it shows the most important crypto news and even signals.
Fans of cryptocurrency news will also be pleased. For example, the application Cryptocurrency News allows you to aggregate articles from several newspapers, and get a “hot squeeze” on your smartphone. There are own applications from the news portals themselves. For example, the Cointelegraph.
Gamers also have something to do. For example, they can play EOS Knight, a game built on the blockchain of the cryptocurrency with the same name. It’s a classic strategy of a Heroes-of-Might-and-Magic kind. There is, however, a distributed registry technology inside.
There are hundreds of cryptocurrency apps in Google Play and the Apple Store. It means that they are in demand. Actually, that’s why smartphones manufacturers decided to introduce coins at the stage of developing their new devices. At the moment, they are Android-based phones only.
Perhaps the first major technology company to launch its product with crypto is HTC. In 2018, the Taiwanese manufacturer created their first Exodus blockchain smartphone. It has a built-in crypto wallet that supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens. Moreover, Exodus allows you to use decentralised applications and even cryptocurrency marketplace.
Following HTC, Samsung stormed into the crypto industry. Its flagship S10 is also equipped with a built-in crypto wallet and supports several decentralised applications.
Non-core companies also did not want to stand aside. For example, the blockchain startup Electroneum released its smartphone in February 2019. Its price is amazingly small — only $80. For comparison, the flag phones from HTC or Samsung cost about $1000. The main task of such a device is to mine the token of the ETN project. Moreover, the startup claims that it is possible to earn up to $3 a month on SmartMining and spend this money on balance refilling and other small purchases.
It is not an accident, that the price of the phone is so small. According to Electroneum, the target audience of the smartphone-miner will be in poor developing countries. After all, their residents can not afford the new products from tech giants. But they are interested in cryptocurrencies. So the device will kill two birds with one stone.
Blockchain in smartphone
There are really a lot of crypto apps for smartphones and smart gadgets. So far, in most cases, they are used for cryptocurrencies storing and trading. We have to admit, however, that they carry a lot of risks. One of the main ones is the inability to securely store user’s private keys.
Anyway, technologies are improving. And this is true not only in regards of secure payments and cryptocurrency storage. The applications themselves are going to go to a new level, providing customers with more and more useful services.
“They are going to appear just now, and those will be applications capable of operating with second-level technologies. Of course, the second level is still in its infancy, but the first wallets with Lightning Network support have already begun to appear in mobile phones,” claims Andrey Sobol.
So it is quite possible that the future is not far away. The developers should remember one thing: the crypto industry does not end up with the cryptocurrency trading and storage. Therefore, it is worth exploring other uses of coins.
Author: Alexey Ryabukha