Solana Labs is making a phone that will revolutionize Web3 – Business Insider | Hot Mobile Press

  • Solana Labs just announced that it is building a web3 native mobile phone.
  • Solana founder Anatoly Yakovenko says the phone is the first step in creating a better mobile internet3.
  • 5 crypto vets share their thoughts on how the phone could impact Solana’s price and the crypto market.

Solana has gone where crypto has never gone before and created a mobile phone.

This bold move sent shockwaves across the crypto industry, with many wondering if Solana Labs — the company behind the Solana cryptocurrency — actually plans to compete with tech giants like Samsung and Apple.

Insider spoke to several crypto experts, from Solana’s founder to skeptical crypto analysts, who shared their thoughts on the Solana phone and what it means for the future of cryptocurrency.

Solana’s gambling on the phone

Until now, crypto innovation has been largely limited to software.

While there have been some physical innovations – like more energy-efficient mining and better hard wallets to protect your crypto – most crypto projects are focused on developing different ways of using the blockchain, as in the case of DeFi or NFTs.

While the new phone, dubbed Saga, will run on the Android platform when it launches in early 2023, it’s the Solana Mobile Stack (SMS) that truly brings a Web3 experience to the mobile phone market.

SMS is an Android-based developer toolkit for building Web3 apps and software that comes complete with a decentralized app store and positions itself as an open-source alternative to Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store.

Solana Founder Anatoly Yakovenko shared his thoughts on what he would like to see from the Solana Mobile Stack.

“What we really want to unlock is the ability for developers to build these really tightly integrated, next-generation applications that are very enjoyable for users to use in web3,” Yakovenko said.

He continued: “The wallet can be narrower and integrated with things like tap-to-pay. A Web3 app store is necessary because the way real digital items work is very different from the way you buy a movie on Amazon.”

In other words, when you buy a copy of a movie on your phone, you don’t suddenly own the license rights to that movie – you just get a digital copy of the movie. On the other hand, if you buy a Bored Ape NFT, full ownership and licensing of that NFT transfers from seller to buyer at the time of sale.

Currently, digital ownership on mobile phones is largely limited to purchasing in-app goods from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, both of which take a large chunk of publisher revenue in the form of fees and both retain full control over the apps on their platforms.

But a Web3-first system like SMS could shift the narrative away from Apple and Google-owned walled gardens and toward the kind of self-custody that crypto enthusiasts love.

Reasons to be optimistic about the Solana phone

As real-world use cases for NFTs continue to grow, a Solana phone could be the game-changer for Solana adoption across the crypto ecosystem.

“We’re particularly excited about the launch of the Solana phone as it has the potential to further integrate NFTs into our everyday lives, both digital and real,” Magic Eden founder Jack Lu told Insider.

He continued, “As more NFTs are integrated, their use cases will become richer – which will support the broader growth of the NFT ecosystem.”

Right now, NFTs are mostly limited to profile pictures; However, NFT supporters believe its use cases could be expanded much further. For example, real estate or music holdings could be transferred as NFTs.

Caseem Ward, an advisor to crypto media outlet Light Node, expressed optimism about the future of the phone and the impact it would have on the Solana cryptocurrency price.

“Solana Mobile Stack has the potential to become web3’s iOS or Android,” said Ward. “Most of the world uses mobile devices – the integration of native Web3 will make the experience seamless and accelerate our arrival to widespread mass adoption. Solana’s commitment to staying ahead of the curve in this market downturn, particularly with this renewed focus on a mobile Web3 experience, will translate into billions of dollars in value to solana’s market capitalization.”

Reasons to be careful with Solana’s phone

But not everyone is optimistic about the prospect of a Solana phone — even Solana devotees.

Grit Trakulhoon, an investor at Andreeson-Horowtiz-backed investment platform Titan Invest, expressed mixed thoughts about the phone’s potential success.

“There are two main efforts: software – Solana Mobile Stack (SMS): a toolkit that allows developers to build Web3 mobile applications, and hardware – Solana Saga: a new Android mobile phone with full integration with SMS,” said Trakulhoon.

He elaborated: “From a software perspective – the platform/software developer kit (SDK) – it seems to make sense. However, hardware (the phone) is a different beast and the barrier to entry is huge. So it’s unclear if they will be successful, but I cheer for them.”

Right now, the smartphone market is dominated by Apple and Samsung, which together consistently account for well over 50% of the market share of phones sold worldwide. Furthermore, even tech titans like Google are struggling to create phones that can compete with the incumbents in the mobile phone market.

Matt Batsinelas, a partner at Triblock, shared Trakulhoon’s sentiment.

“While I’m bullish on the Solana blockchain and other projects Solana has launched, I don’t see a viable way for a crypto-native mobile device to compete with Apple and Google,” Batsinelas said.

He continued, “The SDK could be a powerful gateway for developers to reach mobile users, but building a mobile phone is not Solana’s core competency, and there are probably better ways for Solana Labs to incentivize mobile development.” .”

Yakovenko told Insiders how he would define success for the Solana phone.

“Selling a lot of phones is like a dream, but we don’t need to sell a lot of phones to be successful,” Yakovenko said. “There are several ways we can win. One of them is that we prove that these business models are scalable. You can actually have mobile Web3 experiences without the way the App Store works today in a fair way that is still growing and economically sustainable.”

“The app stores are such a nuisance to developers that with 50,000 dedicated Web3 users active – with a Web3-friendly app store – we present a better distribution channel for developers than the big app stores today,” Yakovenko closed.

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