Solana Saga: The DeFi phone you don’t need

Many people involved in crypto may not be familiar with Moshe Hogeg, a disgraced Israeli entrepreneur who, as well as founding and investing in numerous apps, businesses, and social media platforms, has been sued, arrested, and forced to sell his interest in Beitar Jerusalem FC (a top-tier Israeli football team).

But Hogeg’s most glorious failure was his attempt to launch a cryptocurrency phone called the Finney (named for possible-Satoshi Nakamoto Hal Finney).

The Finney unfortunately — or fortunately, depending on whose side you’re on — never really made a splash, instead sinking like a stone in the sea of horrendous ideas spawned during the 2018 crypto winter.

Well now the Finney is back, but this time it’s brought to you by Solana and has been rebadged as a DeFi device. Meet the Saga.

Rave reviews (from Solana Enjoyooorrrss)

Of course, the former lead investor for FTX Ventures has already given it her seal of approval, so maybe Protos is being too quick to judge. But the entire experience sounds genuinely clunky.

In a demo by Danny Nelson of CoinDesk, he minted an NFT. Thing is, he had to approve permissions twice and provide a fingerprint login six times. This begs the question, was it worth it for a Solana NFT?

But perhaps that’s not really doing the phone justice. After all, the Saga is also a hardware wallet. Is this a good thing? Again, that’s still unclear.

Recently, people have been piling on Ledger for releasing a necklace hardware wallet. They’ve rightly pointed out that an easily-identifiable crypto wallet that could be yanked off your neck, never to be seen again, might not be the best idea. Is a phone with a Solana engraving, fingerprint ID, and all your NFTs and crypto stored on it a much better idea?

Growth is a must for Solana

Solana founder Anatoly Yakovenko imagines cryptocurrency users cracking a billion and utilizing self-custody — but only if cell phones are used as hardware wallets. “The Saga is the first device where crypto is treated as a first-class citizen in mobile,” he says.

It isn’t obvious why Solana’s dev teams felt as though building an Android phone was necessary for the future as opposed to software wallets combined with hardware or paper wallets you keep safely stored away in a safety deposit box or at home.

Perhaps the best comparison would be the difference between a bank account and the cash in your wallet: the majority of your money will remain in the bank, where even if a robber comes and steals it, you’re protected through insurance and other mechanisms. You’re not going to keep thousands or millions of dollars in a wallet because you could lose it, have it stolen, or accidentally destroy it.

Why anyone would want to keep their NFT collections or all of their cryptocurrency on their person at all times seems incredibly silly and unnecessary.

The Solana ecosystem has been struggling since the collapse of FTX and criminal charges against Sam Bankman Fried.

Read more: Can Solana stay afloat without SBF and FTX?

Needless to say, Flipside Crypto has been monitoring USDC sales of the Solana Saga, and while the company may have sold more through credit card transactions, the numbers aren’t exactly thrilling: 560+ orders, $560,000 in sales.

Will the second $1,000 cryptocurrency phone in the past five years do better than its predecessor, the Finney? That remains to be seen.

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