INTERNATIONAL - Users of Huawei Technologies Co.’s mobile phones will be able to download Bitcoin wallets on their devices for the first time.
Huawei, the world’s third-biggest handset maker, is releasing BTC.com’s Bitcoin wallet in its AppGallery, according to Alejandro de la Torre, BTC.com’s vice president of business operations. The BTC.com wallet will be the first cryptocurrency app offered by Shenzhen-based Huawei. The AppGallery will be pre-installed on all new Huawei and Honor phones and will be rolled out to older devices in the coming months, he said.
The move will likely have the most impact in the Chinese market, where Huawei is the biggest mobile phone seller. The nation has been a hotbed for cryptocurrencies. The Chinese government blocks Android’s Google Play Store and some sections of Apple’s iTunes, limiting access to apps like BTC.com’s. While China has shut down cryptocurrency trading platforms and initial coin offerings, people can still own virtual currencies.
“It’s a good opportunity to tap into the Chinese market,” de la Torre said in a telephone interview. “The use of cashless payments with apps is very big and the traditional banking system is lacking, so there’s a good use case for crypto payments to grow there.”
BTC.com, which also controls the world’s largest Bitcoin mining pool, is owned by mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain Technologies. Huawei is considering developing a mobile phone targeting blockchain-based applications, Bloomberg News reported in March.
“From our leadership position in China, the tip of the spear of mobile payments, we expect to see massive growth in global cryptocurrency adoption habits in the near future,” Jaime Gonzalo, vice president of Huawei’s mobile services said in a statement.