'Blockchain' is the technology that powers cryptocurrencies, but on a technical level, it's just a growing list of records that are linked and secured. While you can mine Bitcoin on just about every PC and phone on the market, there is no shortage of dedicated hardware options, like physical wallets. According to Bloomberg, Huawei is currently in talks with Sirin Labs to develop a 'blockchain-ready' phone.
Sirin Labs is a tech startup in Switzerland, focused on building products utilizing blockchain tech. The company announced its own phone last year, called the 'Finney,' which uses the technology to supposedly increase security. The phone can also store cryptocurrency like Ethereum, with a built-in 'cold-storage' wallet. Sirin Labs has yet to ship Finney to pre-order customers, but that apparently isn't stopping the company from partnering with Huawei.
According to the report, Huawei is looking to license the SIRIN operating system to run blockchain applications alongside Android. The talks are preliminary at this point, and no agreement has been signed. Representatives of both companies confirmed they met each other, but did not reveal additional details. Sirin Labs also seemingly confirmed Bloomberg's story, by posting it on the company's official Twitter account.
Even with Huawei backing it, it doesn't seem like a blockchain-powered phone would be appealing to the masses. Sirin Labs says over 25,000 pre-orders were placed for its Finny phone, but the cost for a pre-order is significantly lower than the expected MSRP of $999 (with backers expected to pay the remaining price when the phone is ready to ship). Perhaps Huawei is simply looking to cash in on the blockchain excitement.