Sichuan Changhong Electric Co. Ltd., a Chinese based cellphone manufacturer, has released a new cell phone called the unicorn. This cell phone is a bit different from other cell phones in that it is heavily integrated with blockchain technology.
Specifically it is using cellphones to record data on public blockchains that seems to be questionable at best.
Although the company claims the phone mines “legacy bitcoin”, it actually mines a custom currency created by Sichuan Changhong Electric.
What is alarming about this phone is that as users mine the currency, which promises they can exchange the currency for rewards, it also records information such as fingerprints and location directly on the blockchain.
This may in fact be the first abuse of blockchain data storage that has come to light from blockchain and a use that is seemingly in direct opposition to blockchain technology being used for privacy.
The unicorn phone, reached the market 10 days ago.
Many are claiming this is just an attempt to jump on the blockchain bandwagon to push a product, however it seems a bit more sinister than that. Every person having data locations and fingerprints stored on a blockchain that can never be removed, is a huge privacy violation in most countries of the world.
Another cell phone maker, Lenovo, is also jumping on the bandwagon with the launch of the Lenovo S5 which reached the marketz one week ago today. According to Lenovo, they have included a blockchain-based payment system called Z-space designed to provide for more secure transactions when using phones.
The S5 unlike the unicorn phone, doesn’t seem to store personal and private data to the blockchain.
Both of these companies are relatively hush hush about what exactly is being stored and only time will tell. However at this stage, the Unicorn does not seem to be in conformity with blockchain privacy. Rather its taking the stance that all information should be public.
One thing seems clear, this is not the phone to have if you do not want the entire world to have access to your fingerprint data or know every detail of your whereabouts.