4 Ways Blockchain Technologies May Affect the Smartphone Industry

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Ways Blockchain Technologies May Affect the Smartphone Industry

Most people will be familiar with blockchain as a buzzword they’ve heard thrown around in tech-savvy circles, especially among people who are interested in cryptocurrency. However, despite the boom surrounding blockchain technology in recent years, many remain unaware of what it specifically does. 

For the uninitiated, a blockchain is a digital ledger of transactions stored on a decentralized network of computers. This ledger isn’t managed or administrated by any centralized organization such as a government agency or a bank, which many enthusiasts argue makes it a secure and highly fraud-resistant technology.

Since its inception, devotees of blockchain have hailed it as a potentially revolutionary technology that has the potential to drive unprecedented innovation across a variety of industries. It’s best-known as the foundational technology behind cryptocurrency, the decentralized digital assets currently taking the world by storm. Blockchain has enabled the creation of game-changing currencies like the privacy coin Monero (XMR), which can be traded anonymously and untraceably between any two parties in the world via an encrypted XMR wallet, among others. 

In addition to finance, the healthcare, travel, shipping, and supply chain industries are a few other sectors in which companies have leveraged blockchain technology to enhance their operations. In recent years, blockchain has also steadily begun to penetrate the telecommunications and mobile phone industries. Many developers around the world have now begun creating new smartphone models that incorporate blockchain technology. 

Blockchain mobile devices have the potential to revolutionize the smartphone industry as a whole in the following ways: 

Easier Access to Cryptocurrency

As cryptocurrency grows increasingly popular, more and more users have begun to clamor for fast and easy ways to buy, sell, and use digital assets. In response to this demand, the earliest blockchain smartphones have been designed specifically to make cryptocurrency more widely accessible. 

Ordinarily, crypto users require access to a computer, a digital ledger, crypto wallet software, and an account on an online crypto exchange before they can convert fiat money into their chosen cryptocurrency. Blockchain phones function as one-stop shops that concentrate all the functions and applications needed to trade crypto on a single device. Some smartphone companies have also entered partnerships with crypto developers to get certain cryptocurrencies’ wallet apps pre-installed onto the phones they produce.

Blockchain smartphones are designed to store cryptocurrencies at the highest possible level of security. Their native wallet apps enable users to store and access the private keys they require to manage their crypto assets without worrying about hackers or corporate entities stealing their information.

Improved Privacy and Security

Modern smartphones store an enormous quantity of their users’ personal data, ranging from basic pieces of information like contacts’ cell phone numbers to more sensitive data such as users’ credit card information or medical histories. The rise of ecommerce over the last few years has also made paying for purchases through mobile apps a highly popular practice. Many people’s smartphones essentially function as digital wallets with established links to their credit cards and bank accounts. In light of these developments, securing smartphones against both theft and hacking is a more urgent concern than ever.

Blockchain phones are increasingly being developed with anti-theft and security functions beyond securing cryptocurrency transactions. They’re built to support decentralized applications that can store sensitive user information on secured and independently managed platforms rather than on the private servers of corporate entities. These smartphones also come with functions to recover and access personal data in the event that the phone is lost. Lastly, users can blacklist their lost devices, enabling smartphone suppliers and mobile carriers to identify and disable stolen phones. 

A More Decentralized Internet

For blockchain enthusiasts, blockchain smartphones have the potential to pave the way for a more decentralized internet, which they commonly refer to as “Web 3.0.” They envision this futuristic internet running on “dapps,” decentralized applications that function like today’s mobile apps but are hosted on public networks and databases. On Web 3.0, these peer-to-peer networks will allegedly replace the big tech companies, whose technology and platforms currently dominate online spaces.

People’s dreams of a more decentralized internet come about in large part due to their growing fear of surveillance and exploitation by large corporations. A large percentage of smartphone users today is composed of digital natives who are well aware of the ways that companies use these devices to gather and sell user data. For many, blockchain technology has the compelling potential to transform the internet into a customer-centric, secure space that is respectful of user privacy. 

Less Plastic Use in Smartphones

Blockchain technology could also help reduce the amount of plastic used in manufacturing smartphones. This is done in large part by creating virtual SIM cards, known as vSIMs, through a blockchain. The blockchain records the relationship between a particular vSIM and a user account, and activation of the vSIM can be confirmed via the user’s mobile device. This process is fully digital and thus eliminates the need for physical SIM cards entirely.

As blockchain continues to grow in prominence across more global industries, fans of the technology can look forward to seeing it used in more innovative ways in the coming years. Blockchain smartphones are likely to become increasingly sophisticated over time and may eventually change the shape of the smartphone industry entirely.

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