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‘A giant leap forward’: Samsung adds support for hardware wallets on Galaxy phones

  • Samsung has made it easier to access blockchain on Galaxy devices by adding support for hardware wallets.
  • Galaxy users can now import and manage all their crypto assets in a single location.

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‘A giant leap forward’: Samsung adds support for hardware wallets on Galaxy phones

Samsung recently announced that owners of virtual assets can now manage and trade their cryptocurrencies from hardware wallets on Galaxy smartphones. They can do this by importing their crypto funds stored on hardware wallets to the Samsung Blockchain Wallet. The feature is available on most Galaxy devices running Android OS 9.0 or above, and currently supported hardware wallets are the Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X.

The announcement comes as the number of monthly active users of the Galaxy blockchain ecosystem has doubled over the past seven months, and the Samsung Blockchain Wallet now reportedly holds hundreds of millions of dollars in assets. Exact figures have not been shared by Samsung.

Originally launched with the Galaxy S10 back in 2019, the Samsung Blockchain Wallet allows users to manage their cryptocurrency accounts, send and receive virtual assets, and digitally sign and authorize crypto transactions. It supports most major cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, ERC tokens, Tron (TRX), and TRC, with more coins and tokens to be added in the future.

When using a hardware wallet, asset owners previously had to either plug it into a PC or download and use a crypto exchange app. But they were still unable to view the assets they owned on the wallet. This has changed with Samsung’s update.

“Thanks to our partnership with Ledger, you can now check the value and the number of crypto assets stored on your wallet. Samsung Blockchain Wallet is one of the first apps to allow you to do that,” a Samsung spokesperson told Tearsheet. “Even after you disconnect the hardware wallet, you can still check the price and value of the crypto assets you own, such as Ethereum, Bitcoin and Tron.”

Since it’s connected to a network, the Samsung Blockchain Wallet doesn’t offer quite the same level of security as a cold storage device, which stores digital currencies offline. Nonetheless, Samsung claims to offer a high level of security by using encryption keys stored in an isolated location called the Samsung Blockchain Keystore, which is completely separated from the main operating system. 

“The Keystore is protected by a secure processor that prevents anyone who gets their hands on your device from accessing your private keys,” said the Samsung spokesperson. “Neither Samsung nor anyone else will ever be able to access them. We think that’s absolutely crucial in order to keep our users’ data safe.”

As an added feature, Samsung has opened access to its blockchain ecosystem by allowing developers to build decentralized apps (DApps), which use blockchain technology to authenticate the exchange of digital assets. “Samsung is building the landscape for the next evolution of ‘app stores’, which will be interoperable and managed on a decentralized blockchain,” explained Patrick Moore, long-time crypto investor and creator of CryptoWhat, a website that covers the latest happenings in the crypto space. “The DApps industry will likely explode in the near future, and there will be huge demand with high-paying careers for those who can build blockchain applications.”

While Samsung’s latest features may not be a unique addition to the crypto industry in general, they do offer something completely new for the smartphone industry. “One can imagine that Samsung is hoping to position themselves as a leader in the mobile-blockchain space,” said Jordan Spence, chief marketing officer at MyCrypto, which is an open-source tool for the secure management of Ethereum accounts. “They’re one of the first major, established organizations who are diving headfirst into blockchain, and it's exciting to see.”

By combining the security of a hardware wallet with the convenience of a mobile phone, Samsung is setting itself apart from the competition, according to Sagi Bakshi, CEO of Coinmama, a crypto exchange platform active in 188 countries. “Samsung wants to get a leg up on Apple and other competitors in becoming the mobile companion for the crypto-native generation,” said Bakshi. “Eventually, anything that has value and can be digitized will be stored on a mobile wallet, including frequent flyer miles, home mortgages, digital collectibles, and NFTs. By facilitating that, Samsung is becoming a first-choice destination for the transformation that’s happening around crypto and mobile right now.” 

Following this move, other smartphone manufacturers may be compelled to offer similar features in order to keep up, which would mean more options for blockchain users. “Samsung has bridged a huge technology gap by enabling all Ledger users to securely transact with their assets, straight from their mobile device,” said Moore from CryptoWhat. “In my eyes, this is a giant leap forward for the crypto industry, and it could be a sign that more companies will follow suit, meaning that crypto wallets could soon become ubiquitous across all devices.”

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