Samsung is connecting its smartphone’s cryptocurrency wallet to Ledger storage devices, adding to a string of recent crypto-centric news to come out of the South Korea-based technology giant.
Announced Wednesday, the Samsung Blockchain Wallet that comes with Galaxy smartphones will support Ledger Nano hardware storage devices, designed specifically for the safekeeping of cryptocurrency.
Since launching with the Galaxy S10 in 2019, the Samsung Blockchain Wallet supports bitcoin, ether, ERC-20 tokens, tron (TRX) and Tron’s ERC-20 analog. A software development kit allows third parties to create “D-apps,” which could include things like paying for goods and services in crypto by scanning a merchants’ QR code. More recently, the Samsung wallet announced its integration with U.S. crypto exchange Gemini.
“By providing support for hardware wallets we are providing our customers with not just enhanced convenience, but also an entirely new level of security,” Woong Ah Yoon, Samsung’s VP and head of blockchain, said in an interview, adding:
Samsung’s crypto ambitions
Monthly active users of the Galaxy blockchain ecosystem have doubled over the past seven months, Yoon said, and the smartphone wallet is now used to hold hundreds of millions dollars in assets under management, he added, declining to share exact figures.
A mobile crypto wallet such as Samsung’s is, by definition, connected to a network and so cannot have the same level of security as a Ledger cold-storage device, which remains remote from the internet.
That said, Samsung’s wallet with its clever key store system uses an independent memory enclave on the device meaning “some of the logic of cold storage applies,” said Yoon.
“The Samsung Blockchain Wallet is not 100% cold storage but it's not a hot wallet either,” Yoon said. “It’s not susceptible to all the external attacks that could accompany an online connection. So it kind of sits in the middle of a cold wallet and a hot wallet; a warm wallet, you could say.”
As well as belt and suspenders security for a user’s crypto assets, Samsung’s Ledger connection adds some nice convenience features, such as being able to use the Samsung app to check the prices and the number of crypto assets stored in the hardware wallet, even after the two devices have been disconnected.
“I believe we are the first mobile blockchain app to allow you to do that,” said Yoon.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.