Finney, the world’s purportedly first blockchain-enabled smartphone, will soon be available for purchase in Bangladesh.
According to a report by local newspaper The Daily Star on Sept. 9, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission approved the phone for import in August and it will be available on the Bangladeshi market in October.
Mobile Phones in Bangladesh
Finney’s launch in Bangladesh comes amid a trend of growing smartphone ownership in the country. According to a 2018 report from global research firm GSMA Intelligence, by 2025, 75% of the population (138 million) will have smartphones, while 41% (73 million) will be mobile internet subscribers.
Per GSMA, the increasingly urbanized population has been buying more smartphones as cheaper devices come to market, and in this regard, Finney’s price is more comparable with high-end phones available in Bangladesh. Finney debuted last year with a cost of $999, while the Samsung Galaxy S10 is available on local phone market MobileDokan for 74,900 taka ($894).
Built-in blockchain and wallet features
Switzerland-based Sirin Labs developed the phone following one of the five-largest initial coin offerings of 2017 ($157.8 million). The phone features a built-in cold storage wallet, secured communications and a decentralized application ecosystem.
Sirin Labs' co-founder and co-CEO Moshe Hogeg said that Finney — which is manufactured by electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group — brings multiple facets of blockchain and crypto into one device:
"Before the Finney, you needed a ledger, you needed a computer, you needed wallet software and then you needed to go to an exchange, and then you could convert. The Finney does all of this in one phone."
Blockchain in Bangladesh
Last month, the Bangladeshi government decided to use money from its $208 million IT project fund to send graduates for blockchain training in Japan and India. The government plans to send 100 new IT graduates abroad to improve expertise in the fields of distributed ledger technology, artificial intelligence, machine learning and cybersecurity.