Samsung is set to introduce native support for Bitcoin in the hardware wallet that comes with its flagship blockchain-friendly phones. Crucially, the electronics giant has added it to its software developers kit—which is being handed out in beta mode—to help developers get their apps ready to support it.
The Blockchain Keystore, as it’s called, enables users to create crypto addresses and store their funds directly on the phone itself. The users’ private keys are kept within a secure enclave, similar to how fingerprint data is stored. Apps can then integrate with the keystore to allow people to spend coins stored on their phone.
When the wallet was initially launched in March 2019, it only worked for Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens. The new upgrade adds support for bitcoin and the lesser-known currency Klay. Klay is a native token on the Klatyn blockchain, a recently released platform by South Korean messaging giant, Kakao.
Samsung’s Blockchain Keystore can currently only be accessed on the latest Samsung flagship phones. It’s available on the Galaxy S10e, S10, S10+, S10 5G, Note10 and Note10+, and in Germany, North America, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and the U.K.
Samsung’s continuing forays into crypto keep it one-step-ahead of other smartphone manufacturers. Apple’s CryptoKit was only released in June, and LG’s ThinQ wallet was trademarked last month but neither are as closely focused on cryptocurrencies as Samsung’s offering.
In a keynote speech in May, Samsung SDS (its technology subsidiary) CEO Hong Yuan Zen listed blockchain as one of the key technologies for its “Digital Transformation Network”, an initiative in support of digital innovation in the industry.