Innovative phone maker Sirin Labs has announced the launch of what it is calling “the world’s first blockchain smartphone” – and it has the backing of arguably the world’s most famous footballer.
Barcelona star Lionel Messi will be involved in the launch of the Finney phone in his role as brand ambassador for the Israeli startup, having reportedly seen “the power” blockchain technology can bring to the smartphone space.
The Finney phone follows the $16,000 Solarin smartphone, which launched in 2016 and was geared towards high net-worth individuals who wanted “military grade security.” Named after cryptocurrency pioneer Hal Finney, Sirin Labs’ device will come with a far more modest price tag of $1,000 – roughly the equivalent of other high-end phones from Apple and Samsung.
“We’re blockchain enthusiasts,” Sirin Labs’ chief marketing officer Nimrod May told The Independent in July when the Finney phone was first announced.
“We want this phone to make all the benefits of blockchain technology available to as big an audience as possible, while making cryptocurrency accessible to the mainstream.”
The phone comes with an inbuilt cryptocurrency wallet, which can be viewed on a hidden screen that slides out from behind the main display. The launch of the Finney phone will be taking place on Thursday, 29 November, in Barcelona.
Sirin Labs announced Lionel Messi as its brand ambassador last December, explaining in a subsequent blog post he is acting as more than just a celebrity endorser.
“A brand ambassador is someone who recognises the significance of a company and agrees to represent that company in a professional manner, educate others about it, and bring awareness to it,” the post stated.
“This is the relationship we have with Leo Messi. After a significant amount of time discussing a wide range of issues, Messi saw the power, professionalism and future within Sirin Labs, and it was for these reasons he agreed to represent us to the masses.”
Given the fact some celebrity backers of cryptocurrency-related products have resulted in scams, Sirin Labs was keen to stress that this is not the case with Messi.
“If you’ve followed Messi’s career at all, you’d know he doesn’t just put his name on anything to make a buck,” the post continued.
“As the Greatest of All Time (GOAT) in the most popular sport in the world, you can imagine the type of vetting process that he and his team have to ensure they’re not going to associate with something criminal, illicit, or anything that might tarnish his stellar brand.”