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Cellphones Open Source Businesses Privacy Security Hardware

The World's First Blockchain Smartphone Is In Development (engadget.com) 95

A company called Sirin Labs is developing an open-source smartphone that runs on a fee-less blockchain. "The Finney -- named in honor of bitcoin pioneer Hal Finney -- will be the only smartphone in the world that's fully secure and safe enough to hold cryptographic coins," reports Engadget. The company is launching a crowdsale event this October (date to be confirmed) to support the phone's development. From the report: According to Sirin, all Finney devices (there's an all-in-one PC coming, too) will form an independent blockchain network powered by IOTA's Tangle technology. The network will operate without centralized backbones or mining centers cluttering up the transaction process, using the SRN token as its default currency (only SRN token holders will be able to purchase the device). And it'll all run on a Sirin operating system specially designed to support blockchain applications such as crypto wallets and secure exchange access. The phone comes with all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a device with a $1,000 price tag, including a 256GB internal memory and 16MP camera, plus a hefty suite of security measures.
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The World's First Blockchain Smartphone Is In Development

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    nothing else to say

    • Yup. I've been around the block enough times to know this is pure and total smoke up ass scenario.

    • Aye, no doubt we will be hearing in 15 - 24 months that despite the large amount of crowd-funding they initially received, they are unable to deliver a working product and so reluctantly they have no choice to but to close the company (or ask for another round of crowd funding ;-).

  • A $1,000 smartphone with 0 apps.
    Sounds like a luddite phone to me.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      However on top of block chain it has a "chain" of buzwords. Block chain, AI, secure, encryption, XXX, virtualization, drone. and our marketing is already searching for the coolest other buzzwords we can add.

      • However on top of block chain it has a "chain" of buzwords. Block chain, AI, secure, encryption, XXX, virtualization, drone. and our marketing is already searching for the coolest other buzzwords we can add.

        Holographic display 3D-printed nanotech AI cold fusion powered?

  • Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Wednesday September 27, 2017 @07:56PM (#55267007)

    Isn't the only benefit of a blockchain is to replace a single trusted server with distributed authority. How does that help with a local device (aka a smartphone)?

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Funny)

      by stinerman ( 812158 ) <nathan DOT stine AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday September 27, 2017 @09:40PM (#55267291) Homepage

      It helps because blockchain crypto decentralized cyberpunk. That's why. Blockchain!

      Blockchain!

      • LOL thank you for that. It seriously got me laughing hard, I think because I read it in my head the same way as the "app only appy apps!" resident troll. A+
      • Or more formally,

        analog : digital :: goes up to 11 : has a blockchain

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Not at all, their are many benefits of blockchains, distributed authority is not even the most important one for many. The immutability and audit trail for many are by far the most critical benefits. blockchains do not need to be decentralised.
      • Given a local-only blockchain, it seems mutable. And audit trails also exist.

        I'd love to have it explained why I'm wrong. There could be something I'm missing. But, I'm really not sure what.

      • So it's a phone that is constantly yammering away with all other devices on the network to save things that you may or may not want saved?

        And still has absolutely no ecosystem around it, which has already stifled one of the largest software companies in the world from having a successful line of phones running their own OS?

        Yeah, this sounds great.

        • Well to be fair, Microsoft handled the WinPhone about as well as they handle everything, which is to say hamfisted, incompetent, and tone deaf. If it weren't for that tiny, insignificant little monopoly (or near enough) over PC operating systems and office software, I can't see how they'd have stuck around this long.

    • The phone will also come with a voucher for a free can of snake oil.

  • It will also be first fully secure system ever created.

  • Slashdot downtime (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 27, 2017 @08:04PM (#55267025)

    Is Slashdot done with the lengthy downtime? Or is the management intent on migrating the site to Windows 10 servers running IIS? What is going on here?!?

  • That is quite some buzzword soup right there...
  • Without AI, it's already outdated before it is released....
  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Wednesday September 27, 2017 @08:25PM (#55267091) Homepage Journal

    And what makes a "blockchain" phone more secure than a "non-blockchain" one?

    Blockchain is an algorithm; or I suppose it could be viewed as an architectural viewpoint [wikipedia.org]. But until someone says exactly what problem they are using blockchain to solve (and how) there's absolutely no reason to believe a "Blockchain Phone" would be any more secure than an ordinary phone running blockchain apps.

    • >"And what makes a "blockchain" phone more secure than a "non-blockchain" one?"

      Maybe that is has 256GB of memory! Wow, that is a lot more than even my biggest servers. I wonder how much storage it has? 20TB?

    • by EzInKy ( 115248 )

      Not sure, my understanding of "blockchain" is that it provides to the ability to track all transactions. I don't see how this enhances privacy at all.

      • by hey! ( 33014 )

        Close -- block builds a distributed, non-repudiatable audit trail in an environment where you don't trust the other parties.

        But you know who you do end up trusting? The people who wrote and installed the software on your phone.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      As you know, there are 4 types of CPU's: von Neumann architecture, Harvard architecture, Bose-Einstein and blockchain.

      Blockchain CPU's are self-cleansing, because they run entirely on hot air.

  • /. offline (Score:5, Interesting)

    by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Wednesday September 27, 2017 @09:17PM (#55267223)
    Anyone know why /. was offline for most of the day today?
  • Will this phone only support the Finney Coins or will it support other coins too? Seems like launching a mobile device along with their new ICO. Having a secure computing device would of course be helpful and an apprehension to many currently-( besides the coin bubble risks, getting ripped off / hacked also a concern e.g Mt Vox). Maybe team up with Essential they seem to have capital $ and Rubin's name. Meanwhile Japan banks are looking to launch J-Coin digital currency. An established device manufacture
  • by bradley13 ( 1118935 ) on Thursday September 28, 2017 @01:25AM (#55267857) Homepage

    Coincidentally, I was just reading about Iota yesterday. The super-condensed summary, for /.ers who don't want to look it up: Instead of a linear blockchain, you have a directed, acyclic graph with multiple "last transactions". In order to carry out a transaction yourself, you must do a unit of work to create a node (block) that incorporates two previous transactions. Hence, there are no miners, and also no transaction fees. Those are the positives.

    The Iota whitepaper [iota.org] mentions a number of - as yet unresolved - problems. For example, double-spending is entirely possible. In addition, my first impression is that you simply have to trust that everyone is running software that honestly implements the algorithm. For example, part of your duty when creating a node is to check past transactions for consistency. What if you deliberately fail to do that, because the inconsistent transactions are to your benefit? In addition, the directed graph can diverge for long periods of time - indeed, diverging branches never need to be reconnected - so there are a lot of potential ways to cheat.

    Maybe a failure of understanding on my part, but: I don't understand cryptocurrencies where all currency units are created in the genesis block. Maybe the algorithm is a fun technical toy, never meant to be used in reality? Otherwise, why should anyone use a currency where one person initially holds all the wealth?

    • by Troed ( 102527 )

      IOTA is completely centralized. When this has been pointed out to the project maintainers they have responded quite badly.

      Stay away.

      https://medium.com/@ercwl/iota... [medium.com]

      • The whitepaper discusses this problem indirectly: as long as the Iota network remains small, it is vulnerable to a variety of attack. Hence, the (supposedly temporary) need for a central authority to check the honesty of the nodes.

        The problem is: there are all sorts of ways that you have to trust the nodes. For example, the algorithm for choosing which prior transactions to confirm: you are supposed to use an algorithm given by Iota.org, but there is absolutely nothing to prevent you from using some other m

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This startup is one of Moshe Hogeg's startups. It's probably a money-laundering vaporware product, as none of his previous startups have actually done anything.

    Note that this is the guy behind the infamous Yo app.

  • The only smartphone that is secure enough to hold cryptocurrency is the the one that is not connected to anything at all.
  • How about a smartphone that sells for, say, $200 to $300, that's actually secure, instead of the 'security collander' that pretty much any smartphone currently is?
    That's the main reason why I don't have or want a smartphone: total lack of security, and for that matter, a total lack of access to the OS at the level needed to make it secure.
    Until such an animal exists I'll just stick with the cheap-ass $50 dumbphone, that stays turned off 95% of the day anyway, and which is probably not hackable (or at leas
  • And...how is it any more secure than any other phone?

    The fundamentals of security don't depend on a phone being a "blockchain phone," whatever that means. In any case, blockchain isn't about higher security, it relies standard encryption algorithms.

    Maybe "blockchain" is just a label to sell a product?

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