HTC officially announces a new blockchain-powered phone

Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge

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.”

Image: Consensus 2018

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.

Comments

HTC pioneering again I see.

I really want htc to succeed because every one of their phones I’ve had was outstanding. They just release at ridiculous prices, usually late and advertise horribly.

They have really made some fantastic hardware. Its a shame that’s not enough in this market.

I still love my old EVO 3D.

It would be enough if they had normal prices. I have no idea who does the pricing at htc, but that "person" should be definitely fired.

A precise summary.

And all of those factors boil down to the fact that they don’t have the money to market themselves like the bigger companies.

They had a lot of in-house talent and made great phones. That’s why several companies keep snatching employees from them

HTC officially announces a new blockchain-powered phone

HTC is really going to desperate lengths to try to turn their company around.

This is about the dumbest idea I have ever heard.

Crypto is soooo 6 months ago.

They need to have AI in the product name now.

Yes, but AI is like … so 2 years ago because everyone used the letters in products that were in no way AI related.

We’ve moved into the post technology society! Crypto and AI are so yesterday. Dumbphones are all the rage!

Less tech is more tech!

Perhaps but I’m guessing you don’t have cryptocurrencies. I could see this being in high demand amongst folks who do hold cryptocurrencies since most phone wallets have security issues. If they’ve really built in a hardware wallet module it could be an important breakthrough.

It’s actually a great idea, but I’m not sure there’s enough of a market yet.

How big is the market for this phone? How many people who own cryptocurrencies would want THIS particular phone? HTC needs sales and revenue, catering to a niche is not going to turn around their fortunes.

…HTC is also reportedly considering allowing people to purchase the Exodus phone with cryptocurrency. No price has been set yet for the phone…

So fitting

so confused….what is block chain phone? so other phone does not support cryptocurrency? isn’t it just an app to support cryptocurrency?

Your phone won’t make the call, send the message, etc… frozen UI until you’ve done some proof-of-work block chaining… some bozo in HTC marketing needed the buzzword… they thought it meant chaining the phone for a block of time

Wasted effort.

Is this supposed to make it easier for criminals to access their e-currency?

If this is done correctly (or even done at all), it will definitely be more secure. There a higher chance of criminals accessing your computer/phone info now than on something that is blockchain based. However, I don’t see how HTC is going to pull this off or even if its practical in the end.

What do they mean by ‘blockchain based?’
Is the data on your phone broken up and distributed onto other phones on a decentralized network? This makes no sense.

No easier than criminals can right now access their government-issued cash.

So … color me not impressed but apart from a couple of software features that are going to be blockchain-related what is this bandwagon about ?

Does the decentralization ensure this will still work once HTC is finally shuttered in 2 or 3 years??

These comments prove that Verge readers do not understand blockchain at all. I would explain, but I don’t understand it either . . .

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