The new product will be marketed as a “KlaytnPhone,” named after a South Korean blockchain platform, sources told the WSJ. Right now, it’s only being sold in South Korea.
The smartphone will have the same hardware and packaging as the recently-released Galaxy Note 10, and prices will start at around $1,000, the sources said.
Buyers will also get some of the new digital currency, called “Klay” coins, and some phones will come installed with blockchain apps and a cryptocurrency wallet.
Samsung is also rolling out the Galaxy Fold in South Korea. The tablet-sized phone folds like a book and will cost about $2,000.
Blockchain relies on encryption to cloak a range of transaction data, but the technology is largely misunderstood. The technology is considered a potential game-changer during a time of increasing cybersecurity breaches.
In April, Samsung was planning to develop its own proprietary blockchain network, as well as launch its own cryptocurrency token. The South Korean company’s blockchain task force was working on an ethereum-based blockchain network.
“Currently, we are thinking of a private blockchain, though this is not yet confirmed,” a source told CoinDesk Korea. “It could also be a public blockchain in the future, but I think it will be a hybrid — that is, a combination of public and private blockchains.”
Samsung also invested $2.9 million into the French cryptocurrency company Ledger, which is best known for its hardware products. Its most popular product, the Nano S. Ledger, also recently released the Bluetooth-enabled Ledger Nano X, which boasts wireless connectivity, a larger screen, support for more crypto assets and faster speed.
Samsung published a blog post last year stating smartphones had the best security for blockchain and cryptocurrency.