The Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC has announced its new blockchain phone entitled Exodus. The smartphone will serve as both a mobile connecting point to blockchain networks and a storage device for cryptocurrencies.
A major smartphone maker, HTC is renowned for moving fast, having been one of the first to bring an Android smartphone to market in the late 2000s, they endeavour to do the same with their genesis blockchain phone.
Raymond Pao, associate VP of VR new technology for HTC, explained that they will be building the framework and phone that powers the decentralised web, as smartphones will be a critical component for the crypto ecosystem.
“This phone will act as the hub, just like the PC did in the early days of the Internet”
Phil Chen, HTC Vive virtual reality founder will be heading the blockchain initiative, explained that they are reaching out to projects like ethereum and DFinity to integrate those protocols within the Exodus smartphone, he said:
“We envision a phone where you hold your own keys, you own your own identity and data, and your phone is the hub.”
The Exodus smartphone will have a built-in wallet, alongside this it will have a digital storefront for distributed apps, dapps and offerings around existing blockchain networks, such as ethereum. The blockchain phone will also have a built in API for developers.
According to Chen, the company aims to start distributing the device in short order, with an unprecedented ‘pre-sale’ exclusively to the crypto community, whereby they will only accept bitcoin and ethereum as payment. He stated:
“We’re looking to ship by the end of this year,” adding “We want to be the Switzerland for all protocols, ethereum etc, so the phone can do 20-30 percent of it in terms of verifying. “
HTC is not alone in their ambitions to be first to market with a blockchain dedicated smartphone, Sirin Labs recently raised $157 million in an their ICO to build the “Finney” and have already received more than 25,000 pre-orders for the $1000 phone.
Although the Swiss company is fairly new to the market, it has had a head-start in developing its blockchain phone and expect to ship in October 2018. Furthermore, with the aim of licensing their technology, Sirin have said to have been in talks with Huawei.
Exodus may not be the world’s first blockchain powered phone, but HTC is a big player in the smartphone market and with well established distribution channels, it can capture the market in great volume, very quickly.
HTC’s approach to decentralised technologies, indicates they expect to see a dramatic shift in consumers needs, particularly with blockchain’s ability to re-address privacy and data issues, empowering users with ownership of their personal digital identities.
HTC have confirmed that they will release white papers, specifications and additional information about the Exodus blockchain phone, over the next coming months.