SikurPhone packs built-in 'hack-proof' cryptocurrency wallet

If you've recently amassed a cryptocurrency fortune and need a secure phone to manage it, look no further than the SikurPhone.

Katie Collins Senior European Correspondent
Katie a UK-based news reporter and features writer. Officially, she is CNET's European correspondent, covering tech policy and Big Tech in the EU and UK. Unofficially, she serves as CNET's Taylor Swift correspondent. You can also find her writing about tech for good, ethics and human rights, the climate crisis, robots, travel and digital culture. She was once described a "living synth" by London's Evening Standard for having a microchip injected into her hand.
Katie Collins
3 min read

The phone shows you the current values of various cryptocurrencies within the wallet app.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Are you paranoid about security and sitting on a cryptocurrency fortune?

Brazilian company Sikur unveiled a phone with a built-in cryptocurrency wallet at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Tuesday that might be just right for you.

The SikurPhone is the successor to Sikur's GranitePhone, which it launched two years ago at the show. It offers the same supposedly "impenetrable security", but with an updated interface and the ability to seamlessly store cryptos on Sikur's secure cloud.

"Securely storing information on our devices is one of our strong points," said Sikur SEO Cristiano Iop in a statement. "We succeeded with browser and messaging security. Then we asked, why not do it with cryptocurrency?"

Sikur claims its fully encrypted phone is "hack proof", which feels like it's just asking all hackers out there to prove it wrong.

Watch this: The SikurPhone will protect your cryptocurrency fortune

To save them the trouble, Sikur challenged bug bounty company HackerOne to test the phone's impenetrability over a two-month period. After putting the SikurPhone through rigorous testing, HackerOne told Sikur it hadn't succeeded in cracking the device's security.

The SikurPhone runs Android, but a highly modified version based around a simple dashboard offering, calls, messages, document storage and a few other handy features. If you want access to Android apps, you'll need to get the Sikur team to configure them individually so as to be compatible with the secure platform. If that sounds like too much trouble, you can always access services like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram through the secure web browser.

If you hadn't guessed already, a phone like this isn't for everyone. If you're not sure you're the target audience, you almost definitely aren't. Most Sikur phones are sold to businesses and governments, although the company thinks cryptocurrency might have more consumer appeal.

The SikurPhone is built for Bitcoin billionaires

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A secure phone like this could also appeal to a more nefarious audience of phone buyers who want to use the fact that there is "no back door" into the software. Sikur's COO Alexandre Vasconcelos told CNET in a briefing that the company made a concerted effort not to sell its phones to criminals.

It will cut off customers from using its services if it gets hints of criminal behavior and cooperates with authorities as far as it can regarding criminal investigations, he said. "We want to protect people's assets, but we are not willing to protect criminals."

As you might expect from a security-focused phone, the design of the 5.5-inch device is entirely generic and discreet. When it comes to the phone's tech specs, there's nothing particularly impressive on show either.

Inside is a MediaTek processor, a 2,800mAh battery, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. There's a 13-megapixel camera on the back and a 5-megapixel camera on the front, but let's face it -- no-one's buying a cryptocurrency phone because of the camera quality.

The phone is available for preorder now, but delivery of the first units isn't expected to take place until August -- and you'll pay $799 for the pleasure.

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