HTC Demos Exodus Crypto Smartphone

Taiwan-based HTC has just unveiled its latest smartphone at the annual global startup event, Slush 2018, in Helsinki, Finland. And, what makes this fact such interesting news for cryptocurrency users is the fact that it’s the first time that a mainstream electronics manufacturer has produced a “blockchain smartphone”.

HTC, which was founded as a laptop manufacturer back in 1997, showcased its highly-anticipated Exodus 1 to a vast audience of startup companies, tech businesses, investors, executives and press during a presentation by HTC’s Decentralised Chief Officer, Phil Chen.

A notable entrepreneur, Mr Chen, who has enjoyed careers in mobile technology, virtual reality, and eBooks, told Slush’s attendees that his company believes in an “open internet” where users can reclaim their digital identities and personal information from the digital world, which he says has recently become a “feudal system”.

He described open source systems as having become “a railway to owning all of our digital identities and assets”, and is confident that the blockchain technology which is used by the Exodus 1 can rectify this by allowing users of the device control of their private keys.

Although a newly-created mobile phone manufacturer called Sirin Labs claims to have created the first blockchain smartphone following the launch of its FINNEY device earlier this month, HTC is the first global tech giant to invest significant funds in making blockchain smartphones easily available to the masses.

While Sirin’s FINNEY uses a cold storage wallet, a secure enclave known as Zion is used to store private keys in HTC’s Exodus 1. And, although this means that the Exodus 1 doesn’t quite rival the FINNEY on data security, it’s a vast improvement on the software wallets that are commonly used by smartphone users to store their cryptocurrencies.

Another interesting fact and one that fits very well with the new direction that HTC appears to be adopting regarding digital currencies is that its latest device can be exclusively pre-ordered using cryptocurrencies, including Litecoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin.

The estimated shipping date for new orders is the end of December 2018, and the cost for cryptocurrency users is approximately 20 LTC, 4.78 ETH or 0.15 BTC. Users from thirty-four different countries (including the UK, the US, Singapore, and Hong Kong) are invited to place online orders via the HTC website. However, residents of China are forbidden from purchasing the phone due to legal restrictions surrounding cryptocurrency trading and exchanges.

The Exodus 1 easily rivals its competitors’ latest smartphones thanks to its 128 GB of internal storage, 6 GB of RAM, Snapdragon 845 processor, 6-inch QHD display, and waterproof 3,500mAh battery. The device also supports DApps (decentralised applications) such as CryptoKitties and doubles as a hardware wallet.

Several cryptocurrency experts have spoken out in favour of the new blockchain smartphone, including Litecoin’s inventor, Charlie Lee, who’s quoted on the HTC website as saying, “a key step towards mass adoption is having crypto wallets that are both secure and easy to use, and I’m excited to help HTC tackle this with the Exodus phone”.

By Laura Kilby.