Sony releases contactless crypto wallet

Sony’s research department continues to innovate in a variety of industries. It has been working on advanced energy supply systems and virtual reality and is heavy into the Internet of Things. Its latest endeavor targets the cryptocurrency industry. Sony Computer Science Labs (SCSL) announced in a press release this past Tuesday that it is preparing to introduce a new hardware crypto wallet.

The wallet isn’t like most hardware wallets. It is a contactless wallet that relies on integrated circuit (IC) technology and is the same size as a credit card. While other similar wallets have already been made available, this is the first that is backed by a large tech giant such as Sony.

The wallet allows a user to access his or her wallet without having to physically plug a USB wallet into a device like a laptop or computer. This eliminates the security risk associated by bypassing networks and devices that might be compromised. As the release details, “In addition, it is possible to securely generate and store a private key with a highly reliable tamper-proof module within the IC card.”

Sony expects the wallet to do much more than just send or receive cryptocurrency. It said in the release, “This IC card-type cryptocurrency hardware wallet technology not only manages the private keys used for cryptocurrency transactions, but also manages private keys used for other purposes, such as those for permitting the use of personal information using blockchain technology.”

These wallets can ultimately be a powerful mechanism for transacting cryptocurrencies. Coupled with technology such as Near-Field Communication (NFC), it will be possible for them to be used exactly like credit or debit cards, but with better security and less fees.

The SCSL isn’t done tweaking the wallet’s final design and still hasn’t decided what to call it. It’s not ready to be introduced to the retail world yet, but, when it is, it will certainly give the competition a run for its money.

Sony has been working hard to advance the cryptocurrency ecosystem. It is involved in several blockchain-projects and already has a few blockchain patents to its credit. One covers a system that enhances blockchain hardware to improve performance and the other envisions a method to use virtual nodes to access a distributed ledger.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Sony’s digital rights management system is blockchain-powered

Electronic giant Sony has announced that it has developed a blockchain-based rights management system for digital content.

The new digital rights management (DRM) system builds on Sony and Sony Global Education’s platform for authenticating, sharing and rights management of educational data, according to the company. The new DRM system adds functionality for processing rights-related information, and will support digital contents such as ebooks, music, films, audio, games, scientific data, medical data, video, and VR content, among others.

Content rights, according to the Japanese firm, still rely on conventional methods and a more effective means of proof of ownership was needed. This led Sony to file for a patent in April for a system that utilizes the blockchain in storing users’ digital rights data.

The company also revealed that the new DRM framework is built on a prior blockchain system they produced in collaboration with IBM last December. The system began by storing educational data such as degrees, diplomas, tests and other similar products.

Sony described some of the functionality of the system in a statement saying, “[It is] specialized for managing rights-related information of written works, with features for demonstrating the date and time that electronic data was created, leveraging the properties of blockchains to record verifiable information in a difficult to falsify way, and identifying previously recorded works, allowing participants to share and verify when a piece of electronic data was created and by whom.”

Although Sony has yet to name the project or the type of blockchain it would utilize, it is already considering commercialising the system. Also, Sony Group has a lot of plans for its future in the blockchain space. The firm reveals that it is also “considering innovative ways to make use of blockchain technology for information management and data distribution in a host of different fields.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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New crypto smartphone unveiled, a variant of the Sony Xperia

A variation of the Sony Xperia smartphone is hitting the markets. This isn’t JACP (just another cell phone), though. Offered by Brazilian-based firm Sikur, the phone will include features that allow it to act as a secure cryptocurrency vault, increasing on the somewhat inadequate security offered by the majority of mainstream cell phones today.

The smartphone was released this past Wednesday and includes a crypto-oriented operating system, aptly called the SikurOS, the platform’s own appstore, remote wiping capabilities, a crypto wallet and a number of security enhancements. Of course, the phone can still be used as it was originally intended – a phone.

There are two models of the device available. The first is based on Sony’s XZ1 phone and offers a 5.2” screen, 64GB storage, 4GB of random access memory (RAM), a Snapdragon 835 processor and a 2,700mAh (milliamp hour) battery. It also offers two cameras, a 19-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 13-megapixel front-facing camera.

The second model is based on the Sony XA2, a mid-range smartphone. It provides 32 gigabytes of storage, 3 GB of RAM, a 23-megapixel rear-facing camera and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. It uses the Snapdragon 630 processor and comes standard with a 3,300mAh battery.

The phones were initially introduced to the world this past February. Sikur hopes that its operating system, and its other software and security, will eventually be accepted by other hardware manufacturers to include in the majority of the smartphones on the market.

Sikur is convinced that its phones are hack-proof. It offered a bug bounty, which was accepted by HackerOne. The outfit reportedly submitted the device to two months of rigorous testing, only to give up and inform Sikur that it had not been able to crack the phone’s security.

The smartphone came about thanks to the Sony Open Devices Program, which is designed to further innovation on top of Sony products. However, Sikur can port the technology to other manufacturers.

The phones won’t be the least expensive on the market, but their price points are certainly justified. The XA2 version retails for around $650 and the XZ1 carries a sticker price of about $850. Given what’s at stack, the security of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of crypto, the prices are more than fair.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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