Blockchain phones are all the rage right now. These mobile devices will offer exposure to distributed applications and various cryptocurrencies. Sirin Labs is one of the main companies people are keeping an eye on. Unfortunately, buying their blockchain phone, the FINNEY, is not as straightforward as assumed.
The Sirin Labs Marketing Stunt
Developing a blockchain phone and pricing it at $1,000 is a pretty big gamble. However, not letting customers buy the device with traditional payment methods is something else entirely. Anyone who is interested in this device will need to obtain SRN tokens to buy the item. For early pre-orders, the SRN token is the only option. Additional payment methods may be added in the months to follow.
The blockchain phone by Sirin Labs offers some interesting features. Users can benefit from the built-in hardware wallet which supports different cryptocurrencies. Additionally, the company aims to let users convert crypto assets to other assets on the fly. That latter features will be explored further in the future. In its current state, the device only supports the native SRN token, as well as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Starting with two of the major cryptocurrencies is a promising approach.
This limited number of payment channels can hold adoption of the FINNEY blockchain phone back significantly. Obtaining the SRN token can be done through numerous online exchanges. Even so, users will still need to obtain either Bitcoin or Ethereum first. Other upcoming payment channels include credit and debit card payments. It is expected these options will become available come January 2019.
A Questionable Approach
Purposefully not accepting Bitcoin or Ethereum payments is an odd move. While Sirin Labs created its native token specifically for such purposes, it is not the highest-valued project. The current market cap of under $38 million shows the SRN token is not a hot commodity at this time. Even this news regarding an actual use case for the token seemingly does not convince investors.
Additionally, company co-founder Moshe Hogeg is in the eye of the storm. While he denies all allegations, sources claim he misappropriated investor funds. Despite a successful initial coin offering for the Sirin Labs Token, its co-CEO is currently under a lot of scrutiny. That can harm the release of their blockchain phone as well. Even so, the company has developed a working product which can be tested at an exclusive event in Barcelona.
The big question remains whether or not people want a blockchain phone. One can set up any mobile device to act as cold storage. Additionally, there are hardware wallet solutions which cost less than 20% of the FINNEY. Those can be paid for with different payment methods that are far more common than SRN. As such, it will be interesting to see how the company fares. The concept of “blockchain phones” is intriguing, although their price tag is on par with more popular high-end phones.
What do you think about needing SRN to buy the FINNEY? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Sirin Labs.