During an unveiling event yesterday, Samsung introduced its lineup of new flagship smartphones: the Galaxy S10, S10+ and S10e. The announcement followed leaked images that appeared to indicate the phones would feature a "Blockchain KeyStore" that would allow users to "secure and manage [their] private blockchain key." The photos also seemed to depict a built-in wallet app supporting Ethereum.
Despite the leaks and resulting speculation from the crypto community, Samsung didn't expand on any crypto-friendly offerings the new product line would include during its unveiling event. But it did subsequently release some details about a private key storage feature.
"Galaxy S10 is built with defense-grade Samsung Knox, as well as a secure storage backed by hardware, which houses your private keys for blockchain-enabled mobile services," per the release.
However, it's still unclear what users might be able to do with a smartphone that stores their private keys. If Samsung Knox were to be integrated with a wallet app, for example, users could store their private keys and seamlessly send or receive cryptocurrency, making their phone a mobile hardware wallet of sorts.
Even though the official release from Samsung was sparse, there is good reason to believe it has grander plans for the Galaxy S10's crypto functionality. For instance, a video shared by Korean Cryptocurrency & Blockchain News on Twitter appears to show a blockchain tutorial on the new phone.
But there are also questions around whether or not storing your private keys on your mobile phone is a good idea. In general, most crypto holders would only feel comfortable storing their life savings on an offline hardware wallet, minimizing the chances that their private keys are compromised. Still, the convenience of holding some crypto funds directly on your smart phone for casual spending could be a big boost to mainstream adoption.