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Experts Stoke Talk of Samsung’s Smartphone Crypto-wallet

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read

Talk of Samsung Electronics supposedly entering the sphere of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies is beginning to intensify in South Korea, as crypto-enthusiasts continue to speculate that the company’s next flagship smartphone – to be unveiled on February 20 – may come with a pre-installed cryptocurrency wallet.

Source: iStock/martin-dm

South Korean blockchain consultant Kim Mi-ra told, “If Samsung phones do indeed come with cryptocurrency wallets pre-installed, it will change everything – it may open the floodgates for smartphone developers the world over, as well as many South Korean firms. Many of these companies are now chomping at the bit, waiting for a chance to integrate their businesses with cryptocurrency.”

A number of South Korean news outlets have reported that there is a high possibility that recently “leaked” photos of the latest Galaxy smartphone, showing wallet functions, are indeed genuine. News1 reports that “the ‘Galaxy 10’ is expected to be equipped with a ‘wallet’ that uses blockchain technology.”

The same news outlet quotes an unnamed expert as stating, “I’m confident that this year will see a massive popularization of blockchain technology as we see Samsung take the plunge into the blockchain industry.”

The Korea Herald, meanwhile, quotes an “industry official” as stating, “The arrival of the new Samsung phones could start [the] popularization of the cryptocurrency wallet system in Korea.”

Per News1, Samsung has confirmed it successfully filed blockchain and wallet-related patents “in South Korea, the UK and Europe” in 2018.

Domestic news outlets also hint that Samsung may seek to integrate the wallet function with its Samsung Pay operations.

In December, Samsung rejected claims that it plans to release a cold storage crypto vault on its Galaxy S10 phone. However, this time the tech giant remains tight-lipped while his new flagship phone enjoys free publicity ahead of the launch.

Another possible move into crypto

Meanwhile, InvestChosun reports that both Samsung and South Korean internet giant Kakao may enter the bidding for Nexon, the gaming company that owns cryptocurrency exchanges Korbit and Bitstamp.

Samsung has been actively pursuing blockchain-related business through its Samsung SDS arm, while Kakao is also a major blockchain and crypto player. Kakao owns Upbit, one of the biggest exchanges in the country – and operates Ground X, a blockchain subsidy.

Samsung SDS last year struck a deal with Israel’s biggest blockchain company, the Hexa Group, which also operates the Orbs platform.

However, the same news outlet reports that Nexon’s owner Kim Jong-ju may indeed look to retain his blockchain-related businesses through Nexon’s Belgium-based NXMH subsidy.

Previous reports have stated that Kim would prefer to sell all of his assets to a single buyer – with China’s Tencent the most likely suitor, despite interest from America’s Disney and EA.