Consumer electronics company HTC is poised to develop a new “blockchain-powered” Android phone, dubbed Exodus, that will feature a universal cryptocurrency wallet. Into the bargain, the phone will support multiple blockchain protocols and decentralized applications via its built-in secure hardware enclave. HTC is the first major company, but not the only one, to jump on the crypto bandwagon in a bid to compete with phone companies like Apple and Samsung.
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Exodus Phone to Support Entire Blockchain Ecosystem
Taiwan-based electronics company HTC is the latest to associate itself with blockchain technology. The announcement was made public in New York this week by Phil Chen, creator of HTCVive — a virtual reality headset developed by HTC and Valve Corporation. Chen stated:
“We envision a phone where you hold your own keys, you own your own identity and data, and your phone is the hub. I want to see a world where the end consumers can truly own their data—browsing history, identity, assets, wallets, emails, messaging—without the need for central authorities.”
The Exodus phone will mark a new beginning of the company’s advancement into the crypto sector. HTC’s all crypto related operations including Exodus will be overseen by Chen.
Reportedly, the consumer electronics company is also contemplating to develop a native blockchain network, in which Exodus phones will play the role of nodes, allowing cryptocurrency trading.
“Through Exodus, we are excited to be supporting underlying protocols such as Bitcoin, Lightning Networks, Ethereum, Dfinity, and more. We would like to support the entire blockchain ecosystem, and in the next few months we’ll be announcing many more exciting partnerships together,” said Chen.
Publicly-listed HTC is also mulling over accepting cryptocurrency itself as payment for the blockchain-powered Exodus. However, there is no word on specs and price of the phone just yet.
HTC Faces Competition
Exodus is not the first blockchain-powered (or at least, oriented) smartphone. Last year in September Sirin Labs unveiled the world’s first blockchain smartphone, dubbed “Finney” (after cypherpunk and oft-suspected Satoshi Nakamoto candidate, the late Hal Finney). The phone was developed keeping in mind a niche audience interested in cryptocurrencies. The phone will work as a secure wallet to store digital assets.
That phone will form part of an independent network that is leveraging IOTA’s “blockless” Tangle technology. The $999 USD Finney uses the Shield operating system that can support various blockchain applications. A pre-order campaign for Finney phones is underway, with plans to hit the market in October this year.
Over the past few years, HTC has witnessed a major reduction in its mobile device market share. Although some of the models have performed well, the numbers are far from those of leading mobile device companies like Apple and Samsung. HTC’s Exodus could be a way for the Taiwan-based company to get back into competition.
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Images via HTC
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