Electronics giant Samsung has announced that smartphones, not laptops, are the best devices when trading cryptocurrency from the point of view of security.
Samsung explained that smartphones are much more secure than laptops and other devices, due to the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE). Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) is a system baked in a smartphone with its own memory and storage, isolated from the device and not accessible to its own operating system. TEE prevents alterations to the system memory and is safe from all hacking.
Joel Snyder, one of the senior IT consultants for Samsung’s network, further explained that if someone ever tries to hack into a phone, they can access the OS, but will never manage to breach the security of the TEE. Snyder said:
“This is why smartphones have an edge over laptops and desktops for cryptocurrency wallets: without the benefits of the hardware-based TEE, the keys are more vulnerable. There is a significant caveat: a naïve wallet developer might choose to simply store the keys on the normal internal storage of the phone, in which case there’s little additional protection from using the smartphone platform. Or the wallet itself might be malware, in which case all bets are off. But with the right wallet leveraging the benefits of smartphone TEE, there’s no place safer to store your money.”
TEEs exist independent of the devices they operate within and are able to process transactions off-chain. A research team at the Cornell University headed by professor Emin Gun Sirer developed new CPUs and ecosystem within smartphones. On top of the TEE, he installed a new technology called Teechan. It enables conducting transactions which are then batched into larger transactions for on-chain settlement, scaling solutions based on these trusted environments. With the new tech, more than 2,480 transactions can be processed per second.
According to Sirer, the technology is perfect for building trustworthy computer networks. Users are able to know what protocol is used by others, which is a significant breakthrough for the industry, allowing to avoid following shady people.
In contrast, laptops use the conventional persistent storage units such as a hard disk or an SSD. Hackers can easily get into these devices and then steal valuable information.