Technology

HTC Announces Exodus, Its New Blockchain-Powered Android Phone

HTC Exodus blockchain-powered Android phone
Image Source: HTC (screenshot)

HTC is working on a new blockchain-powered Android phone. Dubbed as HTC Exodus, the phone would come with a universal wallet and hardware support for cryptocurrencies and decentralized apps.

HTC’s blockchain-powered Android phone will support Bitcoin, Ethereum and other major networks. With HTC Exodus, the company wants to build nodes that support cryptocurrency trading between the users. The Taiwanese smartphone maker is also considering letting users purchase the phone with cryptocurrency.

“Our vision is to expand the blockchain ecosystem by creating the world’s first phone dedicated to decentralized applications and security,” HTC said, according to TheNextWeb. “With the release of the HTC Exodus we can now make this a reality.”

HTC Vive founder, Phil Chen, would be at the helm of all blockchain initiatives in the company. A similar trend has been seen with other major tech firms like Facebook and Instagram, where executive’s roles have been reassigned to explore blockchain technology. Chen would assume the new title of “decentralized chief officer.”

With Exodus, HTC is aiming at a device that would enable users to own their identity and data, and store it on their phone rather than in the cloud. “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,” Chen said.

Chen admitted that achieving the said objectives is a massive amount of work, but said “the mobile hardware layer can contribute significantly to our new decentralized world.” HTC Exodus will also run “DApps,” which are decentralized apps based on the blockchain technology.

HTC’s Android-powered phone will have a touchscreen and a single rear camera. It would support a SIM and a microSD card.  As of now, the company has not revealed the price for the HTC Exodus. The release date of the handset is also not known.

HTC’s blockchain-powered Android phone surely sounds impressive, but this is not the first time a smartphone company has tried to integrate phone and blockchain together. According to CoinSpeaker, Sirin Labs, in December, raised more than $100 million (in less than 24 hours) for the development of a blockchain-based smartphone – dubbed as Finney.

Sirin Labs raised $157 million in its ICO for manufacturing Finney with the vision to narrow down the gap between the wide audience and the blockchain economy. Work on Finney is underway, and the handset is expected to be released in October.

Huawei is another smartphone maker reportedly working on a way to make cryptocurrencies easily available to the users. The Chinese company aims to allow users access to a Bitcoin wallet via Huawei’s native AppGallery. In its efforts, Huawei has also partnered with the owner of the world’s largest Bitcoin mining pool BTC dot com.

HTC seems to be moving in the right direction if the recent numbers are anything to go by. The company recently reported the first profitable quarter in the past eleven quarters. Further, apart from the blockchain-powered Android phone, HTC is also reportedly working on U12 Plus. The Taiwanese company has already revealed that its new flagship would be announced on May 23.

HTC U12 Plus would be an upgrade to its high-end U series models that have been launched over the past two years. According to Linda Sui, wireless smartphone director with Strategy Analytics in the U.S., the phone would be priced at $650 and would compete directly with Samsung GS9 and LG’s G7. The handset would sport a dual camera and 18:9 display. Another interesting feature of the handset could be the face recognition tech.

The smartphone arena has gone from bad to worse for HTC in recent years as the sales hit a 13-year low in February, followed by sinking stock and layoffs. In the first-quarter, HTC shipped 500,000 phones across the globe, or just 0.1% of the global market share, according to tech research firm Strategy Analytics. Hopefully, the HTC’s blockchain-powered Android phone could help the company make a comeback.

Lately, blockchain technology has been expanding in all the avenues from social networks to board games. Blockchain is the hottest trend in the technology sector right now, and so, it seems only right to integrate it with the other star of the tech sector – the smartphone. The blockchain is considered to be one of the most secure and transparent networks, which makes it harder to commit fraud. If a hacker tries to change even a single block, errors would show up in the adjoining blocks as well. Also, the system is decentralized and is not located in any one specific place or owned by one entity.