Samsung’s New Crypto Wallet for Galaxy S10 Falls Short But What Does the Future Hold?

  • Samsung’s crypto wallet and features are not necessarily available to everyone.
  • Despite offering multiple crypto assets, the featured wallet does not include support for Bitcoin Core or Bitcoin Cash.

The implementation of a cryptocurrency wallet with Samsung was a massive step for the crypto industry, and many consumers were excited to get involved. The latest Galaxy S series smartphone came with the Samsung Blockchain Wallet, or so it seems. According to reports, this wallet is not even an available feature to many S10 users. For the ones that can access it, the crypto wallet has a huge problem – it does not store Bitcoin.

Samsung published an article last year that discussed how smartphones were an ideal companion for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, because of their security. Joel Snyder, the IT consultant and security expert referenced in the article, stated that the mobile wallets on smartphones are more prepared to store crypto assets than computers are, thanks to the Trusted Execution Environment.

The TEE is a separate memory that exists within the device but operates separates. As such, the Android system cannot infiltrate TEE, even if compromised. Snyder pointed out that the only way to access TEE involves an API that “calls small applications running in the TEE ‘trustlets.’” When someone accesses the wallet on a PC hard disk or through internal storage, it is exposed to the possibility of malware. Within the TEE, malware is not even on the same operating system to extract them.

Before the launch, there were rumors circulating around the Galaxy S10 that it would offer a security feature that stores the crypto keys of users. There were even leaked images in January of an app that was allegedly called Samsung Blockchain Keystore, found in the menu for the S10 smartphone. In the description, the app was supposed to allow users to secure and manage their blockchain keys. The smartphone was released in February, and Samsung stated that it included “secure storage backed by hardware, which houses your private keys for blockchain-enabled mobile services.”

There were no other details provided in the February 21st official announcement about the crypto wallet, even though there was a trademark filed in the UK for “Samsung Crypto Wallet.” Reports before the announcement had said that the wallet would end up supporting BTC, BCH, ETH, and ERC20 tokens, but they were dismissed.

Now, it looks like there are a lot of Samsung supporters and cryptocurrency proponents that are feeling confused and misled about the Blockchain Keystore. There are several reviews and Samsung press released that say that the feature is an option for customers in the United States, Canada, and South Korea. Even though there’s confirmation that the US has the feature, but there is a video review dated in March that indicates that all devices might not actually have it. To use it at all, the owner of the smartphone has to activate the crypto wallet under the Settings menu.

In a video review of the smartphone in Korea, there is an Enjin wallet installed, which requires that users launch the application, select Samsung Wallet from the dashboard, and approve the terms and conditions. After that, the user will gain access to the Blockchain Keystore, and will need to accept the same disclaimer and click Start to launch it.

In the Enjin Wallet from Samsung, users can access their holdings in ETH, ENJ, BNT, KNC, BNB, WBTC, TUSD, and USDC. At this point, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin (BTC) are not supported, and there are no reports that suggest that they will be in the future.

It is clear that the cryptocurrency market in Europe is being completely ignored through this entire launch. The Blockchain Keystore and the Samsung Wallet are not pre-installed in Sweden, UK, and other regions. Furthermore, there is no way to download the app from the Galaxy Store, and there is no suggestion that anything is planned for the UK at all.

Interestingly, even though the US, South Korea, and Canada can access the features, there is no actual instructions included that explain how to install it. Presently, the only real news provided by Samsung is that the blockchain package will be expanded soon. Even though there appears to be limited availability, the crypto wallet may soon be available to other Galaxy devices.

In an article from the Samsung Newsroom, managing director of product strategy Chae Won-cheol said that the company will “lower barriers to new experiences.” The company apparently plants to offer more blockchain support to other countries, though there are still limited details available.

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