Mobile phone penetration has increased significantly within the past five years as more people adopt the latest technologies globally. Currently, the number of smartphone users is well over 3.8 billion people, while over 5.2 billion people own a mobile phone device, according to Statista. This figure is expected to grow in the coming years, with projections showing that 72% of internet users will be accessing the web through smartphones.
Despite this growth in mobile phone penetration, most phone owners are yet to maximize the potential of owning a smartphone device. Smartphones are mainly used to access the internet and normal phone operations such as calling or texting. However, the potential in these modern-day devices is far more extensive than their current use.
Today, we have emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain, which could primarily benefit from the untapped smartphone resources. For starters, the latest smartphones in the market are embedded with smart sensors, which means they can be part of IoT networks.
Even better, some upcoming innovations within the blockchain industry are featuring an opportunity to run decentralized nodes. Ideally, nodes form the core infrastructure of a blockchain network by facilitating information storage, data transfer and transaction validation. Blockchain nodes can be devices such as computers, laptops and smartphones.
That said, let’s dive deeper into how smartphone owners can maximize the potential of their mobile devices by contributing to decentralized networks.
Growing Blockchain Networks Through Smartphones
As mentioned earlier, blockchain networks such as Bitcoin and Ethereum rely on nodes to function effectively. The more nodes, the more decentralized a particular blockchain network.
For instance, the number of nodes supporting Bitcoin’s network has been growing over the years as more people allocate their resources to validate transactions and secure the network. Currently, the number of reachable Bitcoin nodes stands at 9708; this figure is up by 7% compared to 2019.
However, it is pretty resource-intensive and expensive to run a Bitcoin node. This is because of the increased amount of data and transactions on the Bitcoin network, which generally require a lot of space to run a node.
Running a Blockchain Node on Smartphone
While it is practically impossible to run a Bitcoin node from a smartphone, some upcoming blockchain networks’ design accommodates mobile and IoT devices. One such protocol is Minima, an ultra-lean blockchain protocol that can fit smartphones or IoT devices. This protocol allows smartphone users to run a full constructing and validating node, making it censorship-resistant as there is no single overarching authority in control of the network.
At the core, Minima’s approach seeks to create a completely decentralized blockchain network that is all-inclusive, scalable, secure and resilient. The protocol features a base layer dubbed Minima and a scalable transactional layer 2, Maxima. Smartphone owners can contribute to this Proof-of-Work (PoW) blockchain network by running Minima’s ultra-lean mobile blockchain, small enough to run on a smartphone device.
Notably, Minima also features an IncentiveCash program where users are rewarded for downloading the Minima app to run and maintain a complete node. Smartphone owners who download this app can contribute to the decentralization of Minima’s protocol while earning 1 Minima coin each day for running a node. The program is only available via the waiting list.
Shaping the Future of Decentralized Networks
Though still in the early stages of adoption, cryptocurrencies are showing the potential of setting the stage for the next era of financial markets. Unlike traditional finance, this upcoming niche eliminates central parties such as banks and investment firms, sometimes obstacles to financial inclusion.
With the invention of decentralized networks, anyone across the globe can participate in financial markets and other services offered within the crypto ecosystem. This gradual shift is particularly being embraced by the future generations who are more accustomed to digital life. However, recent months have also seen Wall Street take a keen interest as stakeholders dig deeper into the value proposition of Decentralized Finance (DeFi).
According to a recent report by JP Morgan analysts, blockchain networks such as Ethereum will likely increase in popularity as more investors hunt down the staking opportunities in decentralized ecosystems,
“Not only does staking lower the opportunity cost of holding cryptocurrencies versus other asset classes, but in many cases cryptocurrencies pay a significant nominal and real yield,” reads the report.
Given the potential of decentralized networks, it makes sense for upcoming blockchain protocols to feature lean designs that smartphones can run. This design approach will attract more participants into the crypto ecosystem, ultimately increasing the decentralized nature of the entire cryptocurrency niche. As it stands, smartphone users can leverage the existing protocols such as Minima which already feature an ultra-lean mobile blockchain, to contribute towards the growth of decentralized networks.