If you’ve amassed a fortune in cryptocurrencies, you probably don’t keep it all (or any of it) on your mobile phone. But a company called Sikur wants you to reconsider that.
On Tuesday, the company has launched a security-oriented smartphone called the SikurPhone. One of its main features is a built-in cryptocurrency wallet which, ideally, would allow you to keep cryptocoins on your phone without having to worry about losing them.
The phone itself is based on a highly customized version of Android 7.0, Sikur’s COO Alexandre Vasconcelos told me at the company’s booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. It’s not for the common user: It doesn’t have access to Google’s Play Store, it won’t run any apps that haven’t been vetted by Sikur, and its interface is far more spartan and corporate-looking than that of your typical, everyday Android.
The specs won’t wow you either, thought they’re probably good enough for most users: a 5.5-inch Full HD screen, a MediaTek MT6750 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a 2,800mAh battery and a 13-megapixel rear camera, as well as a 5-megapixel selfie shooter.
But this phone isn’t about playing Android games — in fact, I bet that most users won’t even use it as their main device. “It’s sort of like the Ledger,” said Vasconcelos, referring to a hardware wallet that’s a popular choice for securely storing cryptocurrency. “If you lose your phone, we can remotely wipe it for you. You can get a new one, log in, and your funds will be safe, as your private keys are stored in our cloud.”
There’s a potential problem there: What Vasconcelos is describing is nothing like the Ledger, which keeps the private keys solely on the device itself. Keeping cryptocurrency private keys — which are basically the only thing you need to access your coins — in the cloud has potential drawbacks: The company’s servers could get hacked. It’s not exactly a rare ocurrence; two months into 2018 and we’ve already seen several major exchanges losing hundreds of millions of dollars in crypto due to hackers.