South Korean tech company Samsung has added full support for bitcoin through its Blockchain Keystore application.
The largest corporation in the country, Samsung has been making piecemeal moves in the blockchain and crypto industries over the past year. In February 2019, the company announced that its newest phone, the Samsung Galaxy S10, would include baked-in cryptocurrency wallet support for users to store their private keys. With its only real competitors in the crypto-enabled smartphone business being much smaller companies, this drew a fair deal of fanfare from the crypto community.
When this phone first hit the market, however, the wind was a bit deflated from the crypto world’s sails as some restrictions became apparent. At launch, it only supported Ethereum and a handful of tokens built on its infrastructure. This meant that CryptoKitties and the gaming-focused enjin token were fully supported, but there was no love for bitcoin itself.
Several months later, Samsung began making public plans for its blockchain and cryptocurrency software development kit (SDK). Although it claimed that a wider release for the Blockchain Keystore SDK would not take place until the end of 2019, users were still able to apply for a pilot program, which again included wallets like the baked-in wallets on Samsung Galaxy phones.
On August 13, 2019, Samsung revealed its future support for Bitcoin functionality. On the developer page for early-access users of the Keystore, a table detailing supported cryptocurrencies was surreptitiously changed to reference support for the Bitcoin and Klaytn blockchains, along with the existing support for Ethereum. This support is limited to the Galaxy S10e, S10, S10+, S10 5G, Note10 and the Note10+, and it is only available to Samsung users in Canada, Germany, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the U.S. and the U.K.
Although this addition of Bitcoin support seems fairly tepid at the moment, it’s worth keeping in mind that all of these plans are still in the beta stage. However, with Samsung investing millions into offsite wallet developers in April 2019, it seems clear that there are concrete steps in motion to imbue Samsung products with greater blockchain and cryptocurrency support.
Landon Manning is a freelance writer for Bitcoin Magazine.