The world is full of surprises and everyone is trying to be innovative. We have seen smartphones having blockchain technology built into them, including Samsung’s S10 which has a cryptocurrency wallet but we’re yet to see a smartphone that actually mines cryptocurrency until now.
Mining of cryptocurrency is a process that involves adding transactions to the blockchain (securing and verifying) and also releasing new currency. Miners get rewarded with deposits of cryptocurrency into their wallets the more they complete these transactions and this is how a number of people are making money using cryptocurrency.
The process is not a straight forward task, it requires a lot of processing power and energy and for this reason, cryptocurrency miners have been using special computers (referred to as mining rigs) to perform this task.
A UK-based cryptocurrency service, Electroneum, which is a mobile-based payments solution is powered by ETN (a cryptocurrency). Electroneum has been working on a Cloud Mining technology that enables the mining of ETN through a mobile app. The company has gone ahead to launch their own phone and the crazy thing is not that it is able to mine cryptocurrency but the price of the device itself.
At $80 (approx. Kes.8,000), the M1 is a smartphone that has in-built ETN mining capabilities. The device comes with:
- 4.5″ display
- Android 8.1 (Go Edition)
- 8GB internal storage + 1GB RAM
- Quadcore processor clocked at 1.3Ghz
- 5MP main camera + 2MP selfie camera
- 1600mAh battery
- 4G connectivity
The phone’s specifications are not inspiring at all, it looks like just any other budget entry-level smartphone but the selling point here is that the phone will pay you for using it, at least through ETN coins.
Details of how the mining happens have not been released but the company does quote that users can earn up to $3 per month in ETN coins. However, the Electroneum app is available to all Android and iOS devices, leaving the question as to why the company really needed to launch their own phone.
The company does say that their target market is developing countries, justifying the extra $3 monthly income through their service. Apparently, ETN can be used to pay for a number of services including the purchase of airtime and mobile data.
What do you think?