HTC is set to release one of the world’s first phones to natively support blockchain. While multiple companies are gearing up to make similar releases, the Taiwanese giant will be the first major phone maker to the table. HTC has been a front runner in the mobile device industry for years now. They have consistently produced high-end devices to compete with the flagship leaders such as the Galaxy phones, iPhones, etc. Although pricing hasn’t been confirmed, the phone – called the HTC Exodus – is expected to come in at around $1000 USD. This is right in line with the high end offerings from its competitors. To top it off, it is speculated that the company will accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment for the devices.
The phones are to be released with preloaded universal cryptocurrency wallets. In addition, they will natively support decentralized applications (dApps). One example of a dApp is the recent hit game ‘CryptoKitties’. These forms of applications are not limited to games however. They can also come in the form of a well-known company ‘Golem’ – which provides computing power via decentralized network. There is an increasing amount of dApps being produced as the technology evolves. The variances between the potential markets affected are vast.
The entire project is to be spearheaded by the same man that brought you the HTC Vive. Phil Chen has assumed the role of Chief Decentralized Officer (CDO). He made the announcement regarding the phone at Consensus 2018. This is a gathering of prominent and rising figures in the blockchain world. A week met with protests from traditional bankers, and filled with grand ideas for where this technology can take us.
In an age where data is being viewed as a commodity that is increasingly valuable, it is positive to see a company such as HTC develop products like the Exodus. By adopting blockchain technology, each of the phones will act as its own node on a blockchain network. They will support multiple networks and be completely interoperable. This adoption allows for greater levels of security, where a user will not need to worry about their data being sold to third parties (ex. Facebook and Cambridge Analytica). While on stage, Phil Chen announced, “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…There is a lot of work ahead of us, but I believe the mobile hardware layers can contribute significantly to our new decentralized world.”
Even if the phone fails to become a hit, it is a great step towards mainstream awareness of the benefits that blockchain services offer. HTC shipped roughly 4 million phones worldwide in 2017. Those are lot of new potential enthusiasts waiting to find this technology.