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Samsung wants to blockchainify its budget phones

Samsung wants to blockchainify its budget phones

Despite the lackluster launch of the latest Samsung Galaxy S10’s cryptocurrency and blockchain features, the Korean tech giant is reportedly looking to trickle the technology down to its budget smartphones.
In an announcement yesterday, senior managing director of Product Strategy at Samsung’s Wireless division, Chae Won-cheol, said “We will lower barriers to new experiences by gradually expanding the number of Galaxy models that support blockchain functions,” Business Korea reports.

It’s also reported that Samsung will expand the availability of its blockchain services after Korea, the United States, and Canada.
Don’t hold your breath
Rumors that Samsung was working on cryptocurrency and blockchain features for its flagship smartphone surfaced earlier this year. Naturally, enthusiasts were excited, but it all fell a bit flat when the S10 launched and the cryptocurrency wallet was nowhere to be found for those outside the US, Germany, and Korea.
The real kicker though was that when it did launch, it only appeared to support some altcoins, tokens, and crypto-collectibles. Users are still waiting for the S10 to natively store Bitcoin private keys.
On this occasion, Samsung is still yet to say when and which of its budget phones will receive the additional blockchain features. It also didn’t allude as to when it would expand global support for its cryptocurrency wallet.
Indeed, even if it might take a while, Samsung is certainly trying to carve itself a space in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry.
As previously reported by Hard Fork last year, Samsung published a blog post suggesting its smartphones had the best security for blockchain and cryptocurrency.
At the time, Hard Fork spoke to several security experts to discern Samsung’s claims. The consensus was that although smartphones could be a potential good short-term storage solution, they carry many associated risks when it comes to storing users’ cryptocurrency funds.
So if your next Samsung phone offers this feature, you’ll want to fully educate yourself about how well it works before trusting it with your entire cryptocurrency fortune.

Published May 14, 2019 — 13:30 UTC

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Cryptocurrency

Hackers made $32K in 7 weeks by fixing bugs in cryptocurrency projects

Hackers made $32K in 7 weeks by fixing bugs in cryptocurrency projects

In the past seven weeks, white hat hackers earned at least $32,150 by fixing security flaws in popular cryptocurrency and blockchain platforms like TRON, Brave, EOS and Coinbase.
According to data reviewed by Hard Fork, 15 blockchain-related firms have paid rewards to security researchers between March 28 and May 16, split across 30 publicly-released bug reports.

Omise, the software firm behind cryptocurrency OmiseGo, fielded the most fixes (six). Blockchain-powered prediction market Augur disclosed three reports, as did Brave Software, makers of the Brave browser, which features its own native token.

Projects adjust their HackerOne rewards to the severity the discovered security flaws. Whilst the majority of Omise’s reports were only worth around $100 each, other payments in the past seven weeks were much higher.
Block.one, the firm behind the EOS “blockchain,” rewarded one hacker with $10,000 for a single fix, as did budding network Aeternity.
TRON also paid $3,100 to the researcher who realized the network was susceptible to being flooded with malicious smart contracts, which would have brought its blockchain to a screeching halt.
The amount of hackers who prefer to fix security issues seems to be remaining steady — but sometimes they can make off with much bigger amounts exploiting vulnerabilities themselves.
Indeed, cryptocurrency exchange Binance revealed attackers had successfully stolen 7,000 BTC (then $40 million, now $55 million) from its own wallets last week.
Coincidentally, Binance runs its own bug bounty program with a maximum reward of $100,000 for the most critical of vulnerabilities. The Binance hacker remains at large.

Published May 20, 2019 — 15:21 UTC

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Cryptocurrency

ABN AMRO signs on Accenture and ING Bank for its blockchain inventory platform

ABN AMRO signs on Accenture and ING Bank for its blockchain inventory platform

Despite abandoning plans to build its own Bitcoin wallet, ABN AMRO is not quite done with blockchain tech.
The Dutch banking giant has announced plans to launch a decentralized trade inventory platform in collaboration with Accenture and ING Bank, according to a press release (spotted by CoinDesk).

Codenamed Forcefield, the project will employ Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices to provide “real-time insight into trade inventories.” ABN AMRO claims the platform’s monitoring features “will lead to more secure physical handling processes and a reduction of costs.”
Upon launch, the project will focus on “refined metals,” but “functionality will be expanded across other dry bulk commodities” in the future.
In addition to ING and Accenture, a number of other companies – including Anglo American, CMST International, Hartree Partners, Macquarie, Mercuria, and OCBC Bank – have also signed a memorandum of understanding to join Forcefield.
Back in January, ABN AMRO teased plans to develop its own cryptocurrency wallet, called Wallie. But as Hard Fork reported, the bank has now ditched Wallie as cryptocurrencies are still “too risky.”
“We have approached all the people who have shown interest,” ABN AMRO press officer Jarco de Swart told Hard Fork. “We have concluded that cryptocurrencies because of their unregulated nature are at the moment too risky assets [sic] for our clients to invest in.”
ABN AMRO and ING are hardly the only banks looking to get in on the blockchain hype. Indeed, leading banks – including Barclays and HSBC – reportedly poured $50 million into a blockchain-based digital cash system, expected to launch in 2020.

Published May 20, 2019 — 15:00 UTC

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