Pundi X Launches Africa’s First Blockchain Smartphone
While at the GSMA Mobile 360 Africa event on July 16, 2019, Pundi X, a distributed ledger technology (DLT) startup launched XPhone, a blockchain-based smartphone in Kigali, Rwanda. XPhone is the first blockchain-powered smartphone to be unveiled in Africa, reports Newtimes on July 17, 2019.
First Blockchain-based Smartphone to be Launched in Africa
Per the report, Pundi X has released XPhone, the first blockchain-based smartphone launched in Africa. The XPhone can make calls, text, take photos and surf the net amongst other things with the help of the distributed ledger technology.
As a result, it bypasses local service providers in Rwanda such as MTN and it is decentralized in nature without any third parties involved in its transmission, ensuring that the user’s data remains private.
XPhone also differs from other smartphone devices because it is neither powered by Android, iOS, nor Windows Operating systems, but the Function X (FX) OS which is based on blockchain technology. The smartphone allows for a seamless transition between traditional Android to blockchain mode..
Pundi X to Release 5,000 XPhones in Late 2019
Notably, the Pundi X team has revealed its intention to release 5,000 XPhones in late 2019 and that it is looking for telecommunication companies to partner with in order to launch more of these devices.
The blockchain company had recently completed integration support on its XPOS module on Verifone’s X990 in a bid to enable retail outlets to process crypto payments as well as fiat transactions.
Nonetheless, there are regulatory concerns in the Rwanda which may negatively impact on the adoption of its new blockchain phone. Rwanda citizens may also be adamant about adopting the devices due to the sceptical nature people have about complex technologies.
It is, however, remarkable to see an increasing rise in the launch of blockchain smartphones in 2019, even though they are powered with their respective operating systems.
Electroneum, a blockchain company on February 25, 2019, launched a low-cost blockchain smartphone which features the company’s cloud mining technology and mobile crypto mining app to enable users to earn its ETN native token.
In the same vein, technology company Sirin Labs which launched its Finney blockchain smartphone in 2018 announced on March 21, 2019, that it will be integrating MyEtherWallet into the phone. BTCManager on April 29, 2019, also informed that the electronics giant HTC is planning the launch of a second-generation blockchain-based smartphone by the second quarter of the year.