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Foxconn will make the world's first blockchain smartphone

Sirin Labs has selected the electronics manufacturing giant to build its Finney blockchain phone.

Aloysius Low Senior Editor
Aloysius Low is a Senior Editor at CNET covering mobile and Asia. Based in Singapore, he loves playing Dota 2 when he can spare the time and is also the owner-minion of two adorable cats.
Aloysius Low
2 min read

The Finney is a blockchain phone that makes it easier to use digital currencies. 

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Blockchain is all the rage right now, and you'll soon see the world's first blockchain-based phone.

Finney, created by Sirin Labs, will be a phone that lets people store and use digital currencies without having to pay transaction fees, Bloomberg reported Wednesday. This means you won't need to carry USB sticks along with your digital wallet. Instead, everything will all be stored on the phone.

Watch this: Finney phone is built for blockchain

The Finney will be capable of working without using an exchange to convert digital currencies and will let users shop on sites such as Expedia. Another feature will allow users to turn their phones into personal hotspots that can be rented out for digital tokens. Security will be protected via iris or fingerprint scans, though a password can also be used.

There are already 25,000 units preordered, with shipping slated for October. It will be sold in places such as Vietnam and Turkey. Switzerland-based Sirin Labs previously raised $158 million through an initial coin offering for the project in December. It hopes to ship a few million units this year.

Blockchain is the technology behind bitcoin, a digital currency (aka cryptocurrency) that's seen its fair share of fluctuations in value over the last year. Blockchain works like this: Certain online transactions create or build blockchains, or ever-growing sets of data blocks that act as a kind of ledger. Instead of storing information on a central computer, blockchains distribute it across a group of computers. Blockchain isn't not just for finance -- or the Finney phone. It can be used for a variety of purposes, from ensuring that food ordered online is legit to making sure a prescription drug isn't counterfeit.