We live in a world where we are increasingly using mobile phones, where you can order a car to drive you anywhere by a complete stranger, you can get food delivered in minutes, and you can do all your banking transactions — all with a tap of a button on various phone apps. We’re in a world where firing up your computer would seem tiresome to do these jobs compared to quickly opening an app and clicking a couple of buttons on your phone. It seems computers are no longer required, let alone better than using a mobile phone, and these innovations will have big implications for ETH’s.
Mobile phone apps are the future, and they’re showing more-and-more promise over their desktop and web versions. In today’s world, we spend on average 42% of our time online using mobile devices compared to a computer, a huge change from our lives 10 years ago. These changes to mobile phones have started to be noticed, with tech giants like Samsung and HTC who are already leading the race to utilize blockchain technology in mobile phones, and some of the larger blockchain companies like Coinbase and Ledger have released mobile apps. With continued research and innovation what’s opened on our mobile phones will become a more secure place to save and transact in a digital assets world.
Recent events globally, like the Coronavirus pandemic have shown how interconnected and reliant we are on the digital networks for goods and information. In these circumstances, being able to communicate, transact, conduct business, manage your day to day banking and assets from a mobile device is a huge advantage, if not a necessity with social distancing. This means having access to ETH and decentralized finance on mobile devices will make a big difference as we ride out these uncertain times.
Opportunities in emerging markets.
In this day and age anyone under the age of 40 will most likely have more experience with mobile devices than they do with traditional computers. Globally, we use our mobile phones for just about everything from banking transactions to ordering dinner, and many of us don’t even own a computer at all.
A couple of years ago, we hadn’t really heard about or even have such a thing as an open decentralized finance platform (DEFI). DeFi allows us to create and access a host of new financial tools that we didn’t have before due to the use of the ETH blockchain. DeFi encompasses everything from Payments, commerce, banking, lending, capital markets, insurance and asset tokenization. It’s influence impacts every major area of the global financial infrastructure and markets. Currently, there are just under $700 million dollars invested or held in the DeFi ecosystem, this has generated over $50 million dollars in premiums.
Mobile access, and the fact that these DeFi applications are open to anyone, without the rules and restrictions of central banks, means that people in emerging economies have more access than before to new banking tools. With less cross border friction and volatility than local fiat currencies has made it particularly attractive in these markets.
But are mobile devices actually safe?
Mobile devices offer convenience and access to a huge new world through various apps, but should we be cautious as they’re not as secure as their desktop versions? The reality may surprise you, but the security of the desktop app is only as good as its initial design and its continued updates. If your computer desktop app is not continuously updated by the owners or by you, as you’ve forgotten to check for updates, it becomes less secure than a mobile app that is updated continuously by the owners and your mobile devices automatically update for you.
Besides, in terms of security for storing your ETH or transacting in the ETH ecosystem, key management is what really makes a difference. Key management is how your private keys are stored and transactions are signed for. In regards to this today’s mobile devices offer a much greater level of security than has ever been available before on a conventional computer.
With modern mobile devices we can download new crypto wallet apps. These crypto wallet apps generate keys for us and they put them through several layers of encryption incorporating unique biometric data. The keys are then placed in secure local storage that is built separately from the rest of the system. The system keeps your keys away from the internet, making them resistant to hacks and malware. Also some new mobile devices, like Samsung’s blockchain device, which has been designed specifically for secure key management, much like a hardware wallet. Mobile apps have fewer vectors for attack and more layers of security compared to a conventional computer app, therefore reducing many instances of user error and hacks.
ETH should go mobile
With both the access of DeFi on ETH and the increasing global use of mobile devices, it seems the future of ETH is firmly linked to mobile access. There are currently more than 5 billion mobile devices in the world and with online banking becoming the norm, it makes sense for ETH’s largest access point to be mobile.
To show this in real terms, over 30% of the United States population holds a bank account that is online-only or plans to open one. DeFi services will soon be the norm in emerging economies as well.
So how can DeFi be more mainstream? it needs to be made even more accessible than traditional financial services. All DeFi platforms need to be accessible on mobile devices to make it easier for people to access their services. A large proportion of the population that currently doesn’t have access to traditional banking facilities stand to benefit the most from decentralized financial services and being mobile is the key, as these are the people who never and will never own a computer. However they have adopted the mobile phone in these developing countries.
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