HTC has unveiled its first blockchain-based smartphone, which, notably, can only be purchased with cryptocurrency.
Venturing into a New Market
Exodus 1 is the name of the new smartphone from the Taiwanese electronics company, reports CNBC. The company has also created its own crypto wallet, called Zion, to function as a hardware crypto wallet. It uses technology from SoftBank’s Arm Holdings to ensure a person’s crypto are kept safe.
The phone is currently available to pre-order and is expected to be shipped by December. For those who wish to pay in Bitcoin at 0.15 or 4.78 Ether tokens, which equates to around $960.
Phil Chen, HTC’s decentralized chief officer, discussed the phone with CNBC, saying:
Think of it as a micro OS that runs in parallel with Android. It basically is a wallet, but the wallet, what it does is hold your private keys.
According to Chen, using Google’s operating system (OS) is “fundamentally insecure with a centralized system.” As a result, putting the phone’s secure chip on the Android OS would make it vulnerable to hacks. This is the first blockchain-based smartphone from HTC, but the aim of the company is to ensure the security and privacy of users.
And the reason why you do a blockchain phone is … for everybody just to own their own keys. Everything starts there. When you start owning your own keys, then you can start owning your own digital identity, then you can start to own data.
It will also come with a Social Key Recovery function. This lets a user regain access to their funds if they lose or forget their private key. This is done through a select number of trusted contacts.
Bringing the Phone to the Blockchain Community
Chen states that the release of this HTC phone doesn’t mean they are excluding those outside of the crypto space. He goes on to say that they are targeting the audience who will use it: the blockchain community.
Of course with a phone that is priced similar to that of iPhone’s XS model and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9, it remains to be seen what impact, if any, the HTC blockchain phone will have. It’s a tough market out there for the smartphone industry. However, given the importance of owning your own private keys, maybe this phone will help to answer the needs of many.
Will you be buying the new HTC blockchain phone? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of CNBC and Shutterstock.