The world’s first blockchain-enabled smartphone will reportedly be available in Bangladesh stores soon.
A local newspaper The Daily Star reported on Sept. 9 that the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has approved Sirin Lab's smartphone Finney for import in August and it will be available in the Bangladeshi market by October.
The Finney launch in the country comes as smartphone ownership is becoming a trend in the country. According to a 2018 report from global research firm GSMA Intelligence, by 2025, 75% of the population (138 million) will have smartphones, while 41% (73 million) will be mobile internet subscribers.
Per GSMA, the increasingly urbanized population has been buying more smartphones as cheaper devices come to market, and in this regard, Finney’s price is more comparable with high-end phones available in Bangladesh. Finney debuted last year with a cost of $999, while the Samsung Galaxy S10 is available on local phone market MobileDokan for 74,900 taka ($894).
Switzerland-based Sirin Labs developed the phone following one of the five-largest initial coin offerings of 2017 ($157.8 million). The phone features a built-in cold storage wallet, secured communications and a decentralized application ecosystem.
Sirin Labs' co-founder and co-CEO Moshe Hogeg said that Finney — which is manufactured by electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group — brings multiple facets of blockchain and crypto into one device:
"Before the Finney, you needed a ledger, you needed a computer, you needed wallet software and then you needed to go to an exchange, and then you could convert. The Finney does all of this in one phone."
Last month, the Bangladeshi government decided to use money from its $208 million IT project fund to send graduates for blockchain training in Japan and India. The government plans to send 100 new IT graduates abroad to improve expertise in the fields of distributed ledger technology, artificial intelligence, machine learning and cybersecurity.