Hot on the heels of the various cryptocurrency-enabled credit and debit cards are the smartphones with similar capabilities. There are already a few of these cryptocurrency phones in existence, but competition is intensifying. Sirin Labs is the latest developer to launch their bid for the most popular smartphone that can handle cryptocurrency transactions.
What is the Finney?
Sirin Labs is perhaps best known for their privacy phone called Soralin. The price tag on that phone was a staggering $14,000. Fortunately, the price for their newest creation, the Finney, is only $1,000.
Why is it called the Finney? For those of you who know a bit of Bitcoin history, the name will sound familiar. Hal Finney was the Bitcoin pioneer who received the first Bitcoin transaction from none other than the man behind the cryptocurrency.
What does the Finney do?
Not only is the Finney branded as a state-of-the-art smartphone, but it is specifically built to handle blockchain apps. At first glance, the phone looks similar to the Soralin phone Sirin Labs released previously. However, upon closer inspection users will find that the Finney has more to offer.
On the back of the phone is a second display, which is called the Safe Screen. This is a display that is dedicated to nothing else but cryptocurrency transactions. Sirin Labs report that it has been designed with transparency in mind.
The firmware allows the users to see exactly where their money is going before they make a transaction. The slider that reveals the Safe Screen simultaneously activates the cold storage wallet that contains the user’s cryptocurrency tokens.
What about the insides?
The software installed on the Finney is similar to that of the Android operating system. However, Sirin Labs claim that it is much more secure than Android. The hardware found in the Finney is similar to that of most of the popular smartphones on the market. For example, the Snapdragon 845 can be found inside the phone, as can 6GB worth of RAM.
Other features of the Finney
One of the features that will make the Finney invaluable to users is the Token Conversion Service (TCS). The cryptocurrency space is vast and always expanding. New tokens are constantly being launched, and it takes a lot of effort to maintain an overview of what is out there. The TCS is handy because it converts the SRN tokens (the native currency of Sirin Labs) into whatever cryptocurrency users need to make a purchase.
One of the main concerns critics of the phone have raised is the point about safety. Given that users will effectively carry around all of their cryptocurrency tokens with them, they will undoubtedly be susceptible to muggings and robberies. The only response from Sirin Labs to this concern is that users will only load their phone with the amount of cryptocurrency they will need for the day. The rest, they will keep safely stored at home.
This is not a satisfactory answer, as it makes the Finney less attractive than a regular credit card. How Sirin Labs will deal with the safety issue remains to be seen.