Solana has started on plans to launch blockchain-powered mobile devices as a strategy to grow the blockchain technologies which still require a lot of desktop access.
Solana said the mobile phone (Saga) it is manufacturing, in collaboration with Osom Privacy, will ship in Q1 2023 with pre-orders available on the Solana Mobile Store.
The mobile phone is also coming alongside the Solana Mobile Stack – an open source software toolkit for Android.
The stack includes Seed Vault – a secure environment built into a mobile device that keeps private keys, seed phrases, and secrets separated from the application layer, yet still capable of interacting with apps running on the device or in a mobile browser.
The Seed Vault secure custody protocol with Android will solve the key problem raised by Solana – that people are forced to go to their desktop/laptop to sign crypto transactions since public/private key cryptography has not been well innovated for mobile.
Solana believes that large mobile ecosystems, such as Google, have been reticent to encourage the development of this aspect of blockchain tech.
According to Anatoly Yakovenko, Co-Founder, Solana:
“It’s time for an app store governed by users and developers, with no restrictions on tokens or NFTs, allowing for web3-native distribution models that could never be possible in the App Store and Google Play. These features have been technically possible for a while, so there’s no reason to keep waiting.”
– Co-Founder, Solana
Taking blockchain solutions mobile has been one of the ways for scaling the technology so that it can impact more people, particularly in Africa, where 3/4 of internet users access it using mobile phone devices.
Mobile devices are also key for other roles including mobile money.
In light of this, many blockchain solutions targeting Africa have been encouraging development of mobile-first solutions. One of the leading players in this respect is the Celo blockchain, which has run a number of pilots for blockchain-based solutions that can be delivered via mobile phones, as well as funding such projects.
Solana, on its part, is announcing a $10 million fund to encourage Web3 mobile programs to go with its mobile phones.