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Mobile Carrier SK Unveils Samsung-made 5G Phone with Blockchain ID Wallet

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A smartphone created by South Korean mobile carrier SK Telecom, in conjunction with Samsung, is the world’s first 5G handset, say its makers, who also claim the new device is equipped with a blockchain-powered authentication feature.

Researchers conduct final tests on the Galaxy A Quantum smartphone and its quantum random number generation (QRNG) chipset at the SK Telecom’s Bundang offices prior to launch. Source: SK Telecom

Per the carrier, the new device is named the Galaxy A Quantum, and is equipped with a quantum random number-generating chipset. It is slated to go on sale in South Korea for a price of USD 528 from May 22.

The device, says SK Telecom (part of the SK business empire), uses quantum security for a blockchain technology-powered mobile electronic authentication function named Initial. All data stored on Initial is encrypted, and cannot be accessed without a decryption key.

The function is a blockchain wallet that allows users to store a range of personal ID and certificates, such as smart employee cards, university degree certificates and transcripts, as well as insurance-related documentation. SK Telecom says that it plans to increase the number of certificates and forms of ID compatible with its Initial wallet beginning later this month.

Both SK and Samsung are members of a government-backed consortium now working on a blockchain-powered mobile ID platform. The decentralized ID (DID) alliance also comprises fellow smartphone maker and mobile carrier LG, as well as rival mobile carrier KT. A number of major banks are also involved in the project, as is crypto exchange Binance Korea.

The device is not Samsung’s first foray into blockchain technology-powered mobile phones. Its flagship Galaxy series releases have been featuring hardware blockchain wallets since last year, and the company has also previously produced a Klaytn-themed blockchain phone for chat app giant Kakao’s Ground X blockchain subsidiary – which featured a crypto wallet and pre-installed blockchain dapps.

Learn more: Chinese, International Telcos Explore ‘Blockchain + 5G’ Paradigm