Solana Labs will build a blockchain phone ‘Saga’ – with a Web3 decentralized version of the App Store (dApps), Solana Pay, and crypto wallet.
The Saga phone was debuted today in New York by Anatoly Yakovenko, co-founder of the Solana blockchain and its native token Solana (SOL). At the time of writing SOL is +10% in the past 24 hours, trading over $37.
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Solana Mobile Stack
The Saga crypto phone will use Solana Mobile Stack (a play on ‘SMS’) technology, which intended to facilitate greater decentralization, more Web 3.0 apps and a smoother mobile experience.
Solana proponent and FTX exchange CEO Sam Bankman-Fried – who famously backed Solana when it was as cheap as $3 per coin – commented:
‘Everything is going mobile. In most countries, most of the access happens through mobile phones – but crypto mobile is behind the times. The best solution for this is having the actual wallet built into your phone.’
Solana Phone Cost
The new crypto phone will reportedly cost around $1,000 – around the retail price of an iPhone 13 Pro – and be available to purchase by online delivery in early 2023.
The Solana phone ecosystem will link with and work alongside NFT marketplaces like Magic Eden, crypto wallets like Phantom, and DeFi platforms like Orca. Executives from those three were in attendance at the NY event.
During the presentation Anatoly Yakovenko added:
‘We live our lives on our mobile devices – except for Web3 because there hasn’t been a mobile-centric approach to private key management. The Solana Mobile Stack shows a new path forward on Solana that is open source, secure, optimized for Web3 and easy to use.’
When asked why previous ‘crypto phones’ or ‘blockchain phones’ had failed – investors who were around during the 2017 bull run and 2018 bear market will remember several – Yakovenko replied that cryptocurrency has come a long way since then.
With more developers in the crypto industry today, he assured the audience that the Solana phone would succeed. Solana Labs are also putting $10 million towards financing dApp development on the Solana Mobile Stack.
Solana’s planned crypto phone was formerly known as the Osom OV1, developed by ex employees and engineers of Essential, Andy Rubin’s phone company that shut down. The ‘Essential phone’ his startup launched sold poorly and was discontinued.
Can those same engineers now build a crypto smartphone people will want to use and be a rival to Apple and Samsung? That remains to be seen. Some Solana investors are optimistic, while others pointed out more attention should be put on fixing Solana’s network issues – earlier this month the Solana network had a major outage for four hours.
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