It was one of the biggest headlines of the year. Barely two weeks ago, details emerged that Samsung’s new flagship phone would come with a built-in crypto wallet. At the time, the wallet was said to support four cryptos: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Enjin Coin and Cosmo Coin.
However, in a new twist, it has emerged that the king of cryptos won’t feature, at least not yet. The Samsung Blockchain Wallet will initially support Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens. This is despite bitcoin’s logo appearing on some leaked promotional videos and images.
The decision to leave out bitcoin is rather bold of the South Korean electronics giant. The currency has the most users globally and also registers the highest trading volume. In many countries where the government has made attempts at crypto regulation, bitcoin has been the reference crypto.
The decision will upset many in the crypto community, especially the bitcoin maximalists. While some other phones such as the HTC Exodus support bitcoin, the S10 is by far the largest smartphone with a global reach. Samsung is after all the world’s largest smartphone maker. In fact, the S10 has set the record as the most pre-ordered Samsung phone in the U.K and the U.S. Some experts predict that Samsung will ship over 45 million devices.
What’s more interesting is that the other two relatively little-known cryptos, Enjin and Cosmo are still available. Enjin Coin caters to the gaming community and will target the rapidly growing number of mobile gamers. Cosmo Coin, on the other hand, caters to the cosmetics industry. It’s much smaller than Enjin, and definitely way smaller than bitcoin.
Many have said that the future will belong to altcoins. The contention has been which altcoin can rule them all, with each having a legion of believers and investors. So, could the exclusion be a reiteration of this belief?
It might be, but it’s more likely to have been for security reasons. With the two other cryptos being ERC-20 tokens, the wallet can use reduced back-end requirements to support them all. This reduces the chances of a bug or an attack, compared to supporting multiple, yet varying cryptos. It’s even possible that Samsung will add a few more ERC-20 tokens before supporting bitcoin. BAT, 0x, ETC holders should cross their fingers.
However, it may not be long before Samsung finally adds BTC support. S10 users could get an update for their crypto wallets just a few months, or even weeks after its launch on Friday. Millions of BTC users will certainly be hoping so.
The smartphone will also support two decentralized applications. The first is CryptoKitties, the crypto collectibles app infamous for slowing down the Ethereum network in December 2017. It will also support CoinDuck, a merchant payment service. The service simplifies the crypto payment process, making use of QR codes to scan merchant wallet addresses. However, CoinDuck only supports Ethereum currently.