Samsung Keeps Cryptocurrency Functionality in Galaxy S20 Models

While the headline feature is undoubtedly the new camera, according to the official marketing material the phone will also improve on the integrated blockchain security features introduced a year ago on the Galaxy S10.

South Korean technology giant Samsung recently unveiled its latest smartphone series, the Galaxy S20, at the Unpacked 2020 event in San Francisco.

Security is still a highlight

After copious details regarding the new camera, and briefly mentioning 5G, battery life and storage, Samsung highlights the new phones’ security features. These build on the Knox platform, a defense-grade security solution which stores private keys in a secure isolated area.

“We created a secure processor dedicated to protecting your PIN, password, pattern, and Blockchain Private Key. Combined with the Knox platform, security is infused into every part of your phone, from hardware to software. So private data stays private”, Samsung states.

From small acorns…

Following the unveiling of the Knox platform in the Galaxy S10 last February, Samsung further developed its mobile blockchain offering with the release of a software development kit in July 2019. This included a toolkit for the Samsung Blockchain Keystore, which holds users’ private keys.

Later that month PundiX announced that it had integrated its XWallet app into Samsung’s blockchain ecosystem, allowing users to link the app to their Samsung Blockchain Wallet.

Samsung then added Bitcoin-support to its Blockchain Keystore, along with several other advances. Previously it had only officially supported Ethereum.

In September 2019, the company released an edition of the smartphone/tablet hybrid Galaxy Note 10 with cryptocurrency functionality.

Confirming commitment to blockchain

With the imminent release of the Galaxy S20, along with its big brothers the S20+ and S20 Ultra, Samsung is confirming its commitment to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

It also plans to roll-out its Knox platform beyond mobile devices, and into network connected devices like 5G and Internet of Things end points and equipment.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 will be available from March 6, in the United States, Australia and the United Arab Emirates, and from March 13 in the United Kingdom.

Dutch Bank ING Working on Digital Asset Custody Technology

Amsterdam-based bank ING is reportedly developing cryptocurrency custody technology, Reuters reported on Dec. 12.

The digital assets custody service being developed by ING is purportedly part of one of the bank’s several blockchain-related initiatives and is still at an early stage of development. ING reportedly said that it “sees increasing opportunities with regard to digital assets on both asset backed and native security tokens.”
When reached for comment, ING did not provide specific details about the project, but said that it is, “particularly active to further develop the technology behind digital assets to empower its clients with a compliant access to this emerging ecosystem.”

Financial services firms embrace crypto custody

As cryptocurrencies begin to gain traction as an asset class, major financial firms are increasingly developing their own custody technologies and services.

American financial services giant Fidelity Investments fully launched its cryptocurrency custody service in mid-October, following a year-long preparation and accumulation of clients.

On Dec. 11, Berlin-based fintech company solarisBank announced the establishment of a subsidiary called solaris Digital Assets to provide a custody solution for digital assets.

Cryptocurrency exchanges have also developed in-house custody services, including major United States-based exchanges Coinbase and Gemini.

As Rohan Barde, a research and innovation manager at Blockchain Zoo, previously wrote, there are two main reasons why institutional investors need custodial services, which are reducing risk and regulatory compliance.

By separating the entity that stores assets from the entity that manages assets, financial institutions focus on their specializations. Custody services also reduce the risk of an employee embezzling assets.

Heightened interest in blockchain technology

ING has expressed a heightened interest in blockchain technology, being one of the participants of the HQLAX project. HQLAX was launched by blockchain company R3 and uses Corda distributed ledger technology to provide liquidity and collateral management products.

In late October, ING’s distributed ledger technology team presented its white paper, called “Solutions for the Corda security and privacy trade-off: having your cake and eating it”, where it reportedly found a solution to improve the security and privacy trade-off on Corda, an open-source blockchain platform.

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