Imagine if millions of people owned hardware wallets without knowing anything about blockchain. What if everyone were carrying one around for some other purpose, like if their car keys were also hardware wallets? And they didn’t realize it! If this were the case, you might say that mass adoption of blockchain technology was imminent, if not inevitable.
Well, it’s strange to say, but that’s actually true. Many current Apple products contain an isolated processor that essentially serves as a hardware wallet.
Apple’s iphone 8 and X models were heralded as the best handheld devices ever made! The most-talked-about feature was animoji, which uses facial recognition to create an animal version of you! Cool.
Curiously, facial recognition and other advanced processes in the new models were attributed to the power of a “Neural Engine” processor. Neural Networksin computing are theoretical computers modeled after the way neurons work in the human brain. Instead of one powerful processor (like computers use) the human brain uses millions of less-powerful “processors” (neurons) that work together.
Computers excel at coming up with precise solutions to precise problems but don’t do very well in handling approximate or associative data. Ok, so… the new iPhone has a Neural Engine. Are we really there yet? Is the iPhone an AI device that is learning and adapting based on how you use it? Has Siri ever questioned the nature of her reality?
I don’t know the answer, and I think much of this is overhyped, but there is something in the new Apple hardware that has certainly caught my attention and seems to signal a big step forward in mass adoption of blockchain technology.
That’s the Secure Enclave. Secure Enclave is an ARM-based coprocessor running in every new iPhone alongside the Neural Engine. It can’t connect to the Internet, and it can’t interact with the main processor. Its one and only function? Encrypt sensitive data, such as credit card numbers and the biometric pattern of your fingerprints. Does this sound familiar? If you are active in the crypto-verse it should. It’s a discreet hardware wallet tucked into every iPhone.
The latest release of EOS, version 1.1.0, adds support for Apple’s Secure Enclave and provides a simple command in cleos to access it. Check it out here.
Essentially, the EOS hardware wallet everyone is waiting for could already be in your pocket. I use Android just because I can’t afford an iPhone and I hate that you can’t change the battery, but looking at the history of Apple I think it’s pretty significant that their new hardware is adopting best practices from crypto. After all, Apple created the mouse and the graphical user interface when they released the Apple Lisa in 1983.
I’m not sure that Apple introduced AI to smartphones with their latest model, but I am sure that they created a great hardware platform for crypto and blockchain. Everyone in the global EOSIO community is talking about mass adoption because the technology simply works better, and it seems that Apple is getting ready for the era of blockchain too.
The largest computer company in the world is building hardware wallets discreetly into all of their products (Secure Enclave also appears on new laptops and desktops). This is not just a coincidence. They are preparing for the rise of blockchain. Here’s a sample paragraph from their developer’s overview:
“The Secure Enclave is a hardware-based key manager that’s isolated from the main processor to provide an extra layer of security. When you store a private key in the Secure Enclave, you never actually handle the key, making it difficult for the key to become compromised. Instead, you instruct the Secure Enclave to create the key, securely store it, and perform operations with it. You receive only the output of these operations, such as encrypted data or a cryptographic signature verification outcome.”
EOSIO 1.1.0 has just arrived, so we’re not sure exactly how the Secure Enclave integration will work in practice, but activating it is just a single command in cleos. It could be that the hardware wallet for EOS you are waiting for is already in your pocket or on your desk. The hardware already exists, and EOSIO is the operating system, it won’t take long to connect the two.
Is it just a coincidence that Apple created the perfect hardware peanut butter for EOSIO’s chocolate? This past year Apple has been moving millions of blockchain-compliant units globally, each with their own discrete, integrated hardware wallet.
Sometimes, when technology moves forward in what seems to be a profound shift, it’s helpful to take a look at the context. Looking back on the invention of the telephone or the lightbulb, they seemed inevitable because the world was ready, the conditions were favorable. They would have come to be even without Edison or Graham Bell.
The time is right for EOSIO. The conditions are favorable. There is a clear path to mass adoption.