Intended to simplify the user experience for cryptocurrency-related products and services, Sirin’s Finney phone is designed to help users securely store and use digital coins – like Bitcoin – as well as related services. Currently, such cryptocurrencies are difficult to use for transactions and require owners to securely store them using an assortment of digital wallets and storage options.
With the current user experience, says Sirin Chief Executive Officer Moshe Hogeg, “the mass market would never get it. There’s no chance my mom can figure out how to use Bitcoin, and my mom is smart.”
Using the company’s proprietary operating system, the Kinney is designed to integrate all kinds of tokens and to let owners shop on crypto-friendly sites, converting cash into specialized tokens as needed. Users may also activate their phone’s Wi-Fi while commuting and get paid in tokens by fellow bus riders looking for access to a wireless network.
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For security, Finney features a built-in “cold storage” crypto wallet and handles all coin-related services in a part of the phone that’s activated with a physical switch. Instead of keying in a complex address and private key, says Sirin, users may eventually verify their identities with an iris scan, a fingerprint, and a simple password.
Looking ahead, Sirin says it hopes to license its technology to other phone manufacturers, potentially bringing down the price of Finney, which is expected to sell for $999. According to Bloomberg, the company is in talks with Huawei Technologies Ltd.
Sirin raised $158 million in December for the project in an initial coin offering (ICO), in addition to $70 million raised previously. The phone is slated to ship in October.
For more on Sirin Labs, see the company’s white paper “Secure open source consumer electronics for the blockchain era (PDF).”