In need of a new smartphone? Based on the following news you might want to consider buying the HTC Exodus 1! The Taiwanese phone-maker has unveiled a blockchain-based smartphone which has been designed to store the owner’s cryptocurrencies securely. Interesting detail: you can buy the smartphone with cryptocurrency.
Today, HTC unveiled its new flagship smartphone, the Exodus 1. As the struggling manufacturer looks to shift its strategy to focus on new technology, the Exodus 1 has a high focus on blockchain and cryptocurrency.
According to HTC, the smartphone has its own cryptocurrency wallet called Zion, developed by the company itself. The hardware cryptocurrency wallet of the Exodus 1 is completely separated from the phone’s Android operating system, making the Exodus 1 a smartphone, but also a cryptocurrency hardware wallet.
Phil Chen, HTC’s decentralized chief officer, said to CNBC:
“Think of it as a micro OS that runs in parallel with Android. It basically is a wallet, and what it does is hold your private keys. These private keys are meant to be kept confidential, and are needed whenever a user wants to access their Bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies.”
Chen furthermore explained why the wallet has been separated from the Android operating system:
“Android fundamentally insecure, so storing cryptocurrency within the Android environment would put the cryptocurrencies at high risk”
HTC’s new phone will run decentralized applications, digital programs that operate on the blockchain. It also comes with a “Social Key Recovery” function that lets a user regain access to their funds if they lose their private key via a select number of trusted contacts.
By integrating blockchain technology in the phone, the security and privacy of users can be ensured, and this will in the future help with protecting customer’s data and their identity.
Chen said about the protection of data:
“The dominant companies in our world today are Google and Facebook, and in China, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, because they basically own all our data. 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”
Other than its blockchain features, the Exodus 1 also includes:
- A 16 megapixel dual main camera and an 8MP dual front camera with 4K video.
- A six inch display with quad-HD+ resolution.
- A Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor.
- Six gigabytes of RAM and 128GB of storage.
The new phone is part of a shift in HTC’s smartphone strategy. The company has struggled to make an impact in the conventional smartphone market while competing against Apple and Samsung. HTC hopes that with the increasing popularity of cryptocurrency and blockchain, this new smartphone can help HTC to regain market share.
Emphasizing its cryptocurrency credentials, the company has decided not to set a price for the smartphone in conventional currencies. Instead, it will be available in December priced at 0.15 Bitcoins or 4.78 Ethereum Tokens, which is approximately $960 at today’s exchange rates.