Samsung Doubles Down on Crypto with Blockchain Stellar Payments Support

The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF), a non-profit organization that supports the development and growth of the Stellar network, today announced the integration of Stellar into the Samsung Blockchain Keystore.

The integration will allow users of Samsung devices to securely store the private keys associated with their Stellar blockchain wallet. This solves what has traditionally been a difficult part of the blockchain user experience, namely the ability to manage private keys securely. Generally, the more secure the solution, the more difficult the experience for the user.

The ability to manage private keys in a secure and user-friendly manner is a key hurdle the blockchain community must overcome if it is able to expand its appeal to a broader set of mass market users among early adopters and early adopters. tech-leaning amateurs predominate. use technology today.

“It’s so important to have a very easy way for users to store their keys and use them on-chain, and that’s why we’re excited about this announcement,” said Denelle Dixon, CEO and Executive Director of SDF. in an interview.

While software wallets that store private keys on behalf of users across computers and devices have been available for some time, they have often suffered from security vulnerabilities as they share the phone, tablet or computer with other users. other apps that can spy on the software and steal private information. keys. As a “bearer asset”, those who own the private keys have complete control over a user’s funds and recovery after a theft is rarely successful.

A more secure approach is to use hardware-level segregation, where a separate computer processor that can only be accessed by authorized software is used to protect the keys from prying eyes. It’s a capability that Samsung has rolled out, like Forbes.com reported earlier in the year.

“We have created a secure processor dedicated to protecting your Blockchain PIN, password, pattern and private key,” Samsung said. wrote on its website, announcing the new S20 Galaxy phones. “Combined with the Knox platform, security is infused into every part of your phone, from hardware to software. So private data stays private.”

Samsung has backed Ethereum since the release of its Galaxy S10 in March 2019, then added bitcoin support in the summer of the same year. Since then, more than 30 digital coins, including stablecoins, have been integrated into the phone.

With this integration, SDF has aligned itself with a formidable distribution partner; the electronics giant which accounts for 19% of global smartphone sales and last year sold nearly 300 million phones according to the data site Statistical.

Although the Wallet and Keystore are only available on a handful of devices and regions – Samsung Galaxy Smartphones: Galaxy S20 Series, Galaxy Z Flip, Galaxy Note 10 Series, Galaxy Fold, Galaxy S10 series – while people spend from device to device to newer models, there will be a natural increase in the adoption of Samsung devices that use the Stellar blockchain.

“Stellar’s integration into the Samsung Blockchain Keystore is an important milestone for our network and the incredible app ecosystem built on this platform. Samsung provides a user-friendly key management solution and drives greater adoption of blockchain technology. With this integration, we have opened up to a new network of users who can benefit from the combined innovation of Stellar and Samsung,” said Dixon.

For SDF, it’s not just the ability to provide an easy-to-use key management capability that’s exciting for the organization, it’s also the opportunity to further grow the ecosystem by providing a platform around which Stellar-based companies can create innovative applications that can be used by users.

With Stellar’s blockchain services now available through the Samsung Blockchain Keystore, developers in the Stellar ecosystem are able to build blockchain apps and services for Samsung Galaxy smartphones, in addition to existing Stellar-based products and apps. .

This is a point reinforced by Dixon: “This is just the beginning, as we work together to enable more developers and users to take advantage of blockchain and the capabilities presented by this integration.”

At the time of the announcement, at least four Stellar-based companies have committed to adopting the SDKs required to make their apps available in the Keystore, including DSTOQ, SatoshiPay, Litemint, and Nodle.

The smartphone race is on

Samsung isn’t the only phone provider to dive into crypto. Phone maker HTC was one of the first to market with the announcement in 2018 that its Exodus 1 smartphone would be capable of natively storing bitcoin or Ether cryptocurrencies.

Apple device manufacturer
AAPL
which company holds 12.4% of the smartphone market, has been particularly coy about its cryptocurrency goals. Apple devices also have a secure key vault, accessible through the CryptoKit SDK. The SDK was released in the summer of last year, but without the fanfare that similar developments from Samsung and HTC have received.

Apple, it seems, seems to be ready to support crypto, but has no desire to make it the centerpiece of its brand as Samsung and HTC seem to have done. This may be because the company has been working on a geographic expansion into China which has taken a hostile stance towards cryptocurrency, in general. Alternatively, Apple, which is never a follower, may be of the view that it is best to emphasize technology where it has demonstrated a first-mover advantage and downplay where it quickly follows innovations. of its competitors.

SDF continues to make good progress

Despite Apple’s lack of appetite, SDF seems to be on the right track with its partnership with Samsung. The foundation, in fact, has had a busy year so far.

Earlier in the year, SDF announced that it had in partnership with wallet provider Abra in a move that aims to both put Stellar storage and commerce in the hands of retail users in developed countries as well as provide an alternative banking offering for those in disadvantaged countries who are subject to capital controls and high inflation who want to work outside the traditional monetary system.

Abra made headlines recently, for settling a case with the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regarding the illegal sale of security-based swaps to investors, which was a mechanism the wallet provider briefly provided to users. Americans as a means of synthesis. representing cryptocurrencies.

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