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digital daily: When One Door Closes, Another Opens

When One Door Closes, Another Opens: Blockchain-friendly tech is coming to mobile phones. New entrants like the Nothing Phone and Solana's Saga are vying for developer and early-adopter attention. But the value proposition is shifting. Originally, key management built directly into new mobile devices was the unlock. A better way to manage self-custody. However, recent advances in Ethereum demonstrate that blockchain wallets can harness readily available tools like mobile biometrics to improve user experience. So, if any phone can be a blockchain phone, what chance do new entrants have versus oligopolistic incumbents? The answer may lie in marketplaces. Apple's delay in approving Uniswap's mobile wallet and its earlier attempt to charge a 30% margin on NFT sales on top of Ethereum gas costs emphasize reluctance to embrace Web3 functionality. Mobile developers are hungry to directly integrate digital rails into apps and delight users with seamless payments and exclusive experiences. Yet, commercial policies and marketplace access are gated by incumbents who benefit from the status quo. So, along with new hardware and developer toolkits, the Web3 mobile pioneers are launching new marketplaces that encourage a full range of crypto integration. Can they win? Competing with Apple's App Store may seem daunting, but it's worth remembering that Apple's iPhone and App Store succeeded by capitalizing on similar incumbent rigidity. It offered more streamlined, rapid deployment by third-party developers than competing platforms Nokia, Blackberry, and Microsoft. Delivering value to the end user is what matters. If Web3-native mobile marketplaces have more tools, they can win.