HTC plans to launch blockchain-enabled smartphone:
Taiwanese consumer electronics and smartphone maker HTC plans to launch a smartphone that can also serve as a Bitcoin node. It will be known as HTC Exodus.
While cryptocurrencies have attracted enthusiasts all around the world, and blockchain is increasingly becoming important to businesses and governments, there aren’t too many mobile devices that can connect to well-known blockchain networks like Bitcoin or Ethereum. HTC Exodus intends to fill this gap.
This new smartphone to be released by HTC will have a touchscreen display, a single camera at its back, SIM and microSD card support. This will be an Android phone.
Exodus will support multiple blockchain protocols, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Lightning Network, and Dfinity network. The phone will act as a node on the blockchain network. This will effectively increase the network size of protocols like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
It will feature a universal cryptocurrency wallet. There will also be a secured hardware enclave, thus enabling the users to securely store their data instead of depending on cloud storage providers.
The company’s long-term plan is to have the Exodus support the entire spectrum of blockchain protocols. The information available so far makes it clear that the phone will support distributed apps (DApps), like blockchain-based online game CryptoKitties.
The phone will have important privacy features. With each phone being blockchain-encrypted, it will be impossible for the hackers to break into the device. Identity and sensitive information will be stored on phone, in an encrypted manner, and not on cloud. This will be a significant feature for privacy-focused consumers.
The project is being led by Phil Chen, best known for establishing HTC‘s Vive Virtual reality headset business. The company hasn’t published any information about the expected release date or the price.
HTC, headquartered in New Taipei City, Taiwan, has seen their share of the smartphone market reduce over the past few years. While they work on their plan of launching a smartphone that can double up as a Bitcoin or Ethereum node, it’s interesting to note that there have been other attempts at bringing blockchain closer to consumers through smartphones. For e.g.:
- Brazilian security software and encrypted device maker Sikur had launched their secure SikurPhone that included a built-in cryptocurrency wallet, and can track cryptocurrency prices.
- Sirin Labs has partnered with Foxconn to launch their Finney blockchain phone.
- Chinese electronic appliance maker Changhong Electric Co. plans to launch its blockchain phone Changhong R8.