The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has recently approved a new blockchain-enabled smartphone known as “Finney.” This new phone was approved for import last month and will be available for purchase in Bangladesh in October.
Finney’s arrival comes amid increasing demand for smartphones in the country. From a report made by GSMA Intelligence global research company in 2018, by the year 2025, there will be around 138 million smartphone owners in Bangladesh. The report also revealed that approximately 73 million of the population would be using mobile internet by 2025.
GSMA also reported that the rising urban population in Bangladesh has been purchasing smartphones after more affordable brands were available in the market. Finney will be sold at a price comparable to high-end smartphones in Bangladesh. The new phone brand debuted in the country last year at $999 while the Galaxy S10 is sold for 74,900 taka or $894 at MobileDokan, a local smartphone retailer.
Finney has extraordinary features that are nonexistent in traditional smartphones. It was developed by Sirin Labs from Switzerland following one of the biggest initial coin offerings in 2017 at $157.8 million. This smartphone comes with a storage wallet, decentralized application system, and secure communications.
Moshe Hogeg co-founder of Sirin Labs said that Finney combines blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. Foxconn Technology Group manufactured Finney. Hogeg further explained that before Finney, consumers needed a ledger, a computer, a crypto wallet, and an exchange to convert the cryptocurrency. Finney can do all these.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh has decided to use $208 million from its technology project fund to send trainees to Japan and India for blockchain training. The government is also planning to sponsor 100 newly-graduated ITs abroad. This is in line with their efforts to enhance their expertise in the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning, distributed ledger technology, and cybersecurity. This is a smart move for a country that’s eager to expand its IT industry.