The British blockchain start-up Electroneum is about to turn the concept of mining on its head: Just in time for the Mobile World Congress, the company has introduced its new Android smartphone M1 – and provided for a bang. With a price of just under $ 80, the device is incredibly cheap and especially in developing countries a real competition for top dogs such as Samsung. But the real thing is: The M1 allows the mining of cryptocurrencies by app. A look into the future of mobile payment?
Electroneum introduced the smartphone to the public on Monday, February 25th. At first glance, the M1 is a standard Android entry-level model that comes with Google Mobile Services certification. Purely from the technical data moves M1 in similar terrain as the Samsung Galaxy J5: The smartphone has 4G, 8 to 32 GB of storage space and two SIM card slots. Inside sits a quad core 1.3 GHz processor. The two cameras have five megapixels (rear) and two megapixels (front) and thus trigger probably no major tempests.
Competition for Samsung: Mining smartphone rewards the user with cryptocurrencies
The really exciting thing about the M1 is the idea to use cryptocurrencies for mobile payments via smartphone and to mine them directly on the mobile device. In addition, the M1 is interlocked with the cloud mining technology of Electroneum – users can thus mine cryptocurrencies simply by app and do not need to buy and set up expensive special equipment.
To start the smartphone, you can only mine the ETN tokens from Electroneum. It does not look like a real empire: According to the company’s statement, users can expect a profit of about three US dollars a month. Once set up, the Mining Electroneum can also be done offline. So you can earn a little change to this without much effort.
Electroneum M1: Mobile payment with cryptocurrencies
But Electroneum thinks even further: With the ETN tokens you should be able to charge mobile credit, pay online services or pay in shops in the future. All this is done via the Electroneum app on the smartphone – a bank account is not required. For Electroneum, the introduction of the M1 is primarily an attempt to establish a viable ecosystem for digital payments.
South Africa will initially serve as the test location. Electroneum wants to sell the M1 through local dealers and Amazon. The hope: Thanks to the low entry price, the smartphone could become the first mobile device there for many customers. Electroneum also wants to enter the market in other developing countries. Possibly the M1 should be sold even cheaper and already be available for 60 US dollars.
How good are the chances for the new crypto-smartphone?
Whether the M1 prevails, remains to be seen. But there is a chance that Electroneum will succeed with his project. Mobile devices are an integral part of everyday life for most people. In addition, especially in developing countries, many people own a smartphone but do not have a bank account.
If Electroneum manages to enter this big market, the company could become a serious competitor to vendors like Western Union. However, the competition is not sleeping. The new battleship from Samsung, the Galaxy S10, should also support cryptocurrencies.