Tech 28 September 2018Erik Gibbs
New crypto smartphone unveiled, a variant of the Sony Xperia
A variation of the Sony Xperia smartphone is hitting the markets. This isn’t JACP (just another cell phone), though. Offered by Brazilian-based firm Sikur, the phone will include features that allow it to act as a secure cryptocurrency vault, increasing on the somewhat inadequate security offered by the majority of mainstream cell phones today.
The smartphone was released last Wednesday and includes a crypto-oriented operating system, aptly called the SikurOS, the platform’s own appstore, remote wiping capabilities, a crypto wallet and a number of security enhancements. Of course, the phone can still be used as it was originally intended—a phone.
There are two models of the device available. The first is based on Sony’s XZ1 phone and offers a 5.2-in screen, 64GB storage, 4GB of random access memory (RAM), a Snapdragon 835 processor and a 2,700mAh (milliamp hour) battery. It also offers two cameras, a 19-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 13-megapixel front-facing camera.
The second model is based on the Sony XA2, a mid-range smartphone. It provides 32 gigabytes of storage, 3GB of RAM, a 23-megapixel rear-facing camera and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. It uses the Snapdragon 630 processor and comes standard with a 3,300mAh battery.
The phones were initially introduced to the world this past February. Sikur hopes that its operating system, and its other software and security, will eventually be accepted by other hardware manufacturers to include in the majority of the smartphones on the market.
Sikur is convinced that its phones are hack-proof. It offered a bug bounty, which was accepted by HackerOne. The outfit reportedly submitted the device to two months of rigorous testing, only to give up and inform Sikur that it had not been able to crack the phone’s security.
The smartphone came about thanks to the Sony Open Devices Program, which is designed to further innovation on top of Sony products. However, Sikur can port the technology to other manufacturers.
The phones won’t be the least expensive on the market, but their price points are certainly justified. The XA2 version retails for around $650 and the XZ1 carries a sticker price of about $850. Given what’s at stake, the security of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of crypto, the prices are more than fair.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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