HTC is the latest to hop onto the blockchain bandwagon, with the company announcing plans to make a new blockchain-powered Android phone, as first reported by TheNextWeb. The company is naming it Exodus and giving it a universal wallet and hardware support for cryptocurrencies and decentralized apps.
To start with, the Exodus phone will have support for bitcoin, ethereum, and other major networks, with more partnerships expected to come later on. HTC envisions a native blockchain network that uses Exodus phones as nodes that support cryptocurrency trading between users. HTC is also reportedly considering allowing people to purchase the Exodus phone with cryptocurrency. No price has been set yet for the phone.
HTC Vive founder Phil Chen will be heading all blockchain initiatives. The move follows the recent trend of Facebook Messenger and Instagram executives switching over to lead a blockchain division for Facebook. Accordingly, Chen’s new title will be “decentralized chief officer.” We’ve also reached out to HTC for more information.
Chen said during the New York City blockchain conference, Consensus 2018, today: “We envision a phone where you hold your own keys, you own your own identity and data, and your phone is the hub.”
HTC’s Exodus might be the world’s second blockchain-powered phone. The first one, created by Sirin Labs, called Finney, is a phone that lets people store and use digital currencies while skipping transaction fees. It costs $1,000.
It’s interesting to note the range of companies that have launched their own blockchain initiatives, from established companies seeking more profits and to remain competitive to decentralized networks, to those seeking novelty, and others that are trying to rescue their images. HTC, which laid off a significant portion of its US staff this year and merged its smartphone and virtual reality divisions, might fall in the last category of companies.
Update May 15th 4:15PM ET: This article has been updated with information from Consensus 2018.