LG vs. Samsung: The Imminent Smartphone Crypto Wars

LG is expected to join Samsung in the crypto space and provide consumers with a choice. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Blockchain has become a buzz word for companies looking to make a big splash and generate a fair amount of publicity.  This has been the case for several industries over the past few years and it’s now true for the smartphone industry.

Samsung and HTC were the first smartphone makers to fully embrace cryptocurrency and its related DApps, and it now appears that LG is ready to join them.

According to a news report by the South Korean media outlet, IT Chosun, LG Electronics is expected to follow Samsung and HTC into the crypto world shortly with its own blockchain-capable smartphone.

LG expected to push back against Samsung

The report notes that an official within the industry said, “LG is likely to respond to Samsung’s innovation initiative.”  According to that same official, LG has completed its research of DApp and Blockchain related companies.

Earlier this year, after Samsung released its decentralized app store, Blockchain Keystore, LG filed a trademark application for the name ThinQ Wallet in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  According to the filing, LG’s crypto wallet is expected to offer services such as financing, settlement, mobile and internet payment services, and a mobile wallet.

Samsung the current leader for blockchain-capable smartphones

Samsung is consistently known for being a pioneer within the smartphone industry.  That reputation is what helped propel the company to the top of the sales chart in 2018 with 293.7 million smartphones being sold.  Although the overall numbers were solid, there was a concern among analysts we may have reached ‘peak smartphone’ meaning there is no where to go but down.  One possible way to avoid that may be embracing blockchain-capable smartphones.

Samsung officially entered this space with the launch of its Galaxy S10 in March this year.  The phone came with a fully built-in wallet along with support for ERC20 tokens and four DApps.  Those initial apps included a payment app, a beauty social media app, a game, and a development platform.

Since that initial launch, Samsung has continued to beef up its Blockchain Keystore with additional DApps bringing the current total to 17.  A few of those apps include the very popular Jupiter and Mars apps, which, respectively, are a digital analytics DApp and a QR code-based password wallet.  Jupiter allows users to monitor volatility of digital assets while Mars permits users to process peer-to-peer cryptocurrency transfers through a QR code.  In order to add those apps, Samsung partnered with fellow South Korean company, TrustVerse.

September is proving to be a big month for Samsung as just last week the company launched the KlaytnPhone, a spin-off from the Note10 that includes a crypto wallet and several pre-installed blockchain apps.  This launch is part of Samsung’s 10-year strategy in which it aims to be the undisputed leader of blockchain smartphones.

Leaders and Followers

It’s rather amazing to see Samsung, HTC, and LG take the lead while Apple remains on the sidelines waiting.  Apple, the company that brought us the smartphone as we know it today, has failed to recognize the pivotal role that blockchain and cryptocurrency will play in the future.  Viktor Radchenko, the founder of Binance’s Trust Wallet, has the following to say:

I definitely think Samsung is moving in the right direction in terms of crypto adoption. Apple does the opposite, trying to suppress adoption and limits users to functionality and rejects some crypto apps.

There will come a point where society is truly cashless and those that dared to take the risks now will likely prosper.

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