HTC Finally Launches its Blockchain Smartphone Exodus 1

HTC launched its blockchain smartphone. It can be pre-ordered through the official website, but buyers can pay with cryptocurrency only.

Taiwanese phone maker HTC finally revealed its blockchain-based smartphone called Exodus 1. It has a cryptocurrency wallet that is stored separately from its Android operating system to ensure the total security of the crypto funds. HTC said that the new model is part of the company’s broader plan to focus on software and intellectual property. The phone can be pre-ordered at a price of about 0.15 Bitcoin or 4.78 Ether, which is the equivalent of approximately $960. However, one can buy it exclusively with cryptocurrency. The smartphone is expected to be shipped by the end of this year.

The Exodus’ website lists the main specs of the phone. The device has a 6-inch HD+ display with 18:9 aspect ratio, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage space. The smartphone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor. It comes with a 12MP + 16MP dual rear camera with high-quality zoom and an 8MP+8MP dual front camera for selfies. The applications are run on Android Oreo, and the phone is resistant against dust and water.

Image: HTC

If those specs are more or less comparable with ordinary smartphones, then Exodus 1 has a unique feature that sets it apart – it’s the built-in cryptocurrency wallet called Zion. The wallet was developed based on the technology provided by SoftBank's Arm Holdings.

Phil Chen, HTC's decentralized chief officer, told CNBC by phone:

“Think of it as a micro OS that runs in parallel with Android. It basically is a wallet, but the wallet, what it does is hold your private keys.”

The decision to keep the wallet separately from its Android system is based on the fact that Google’s operating system is “fundamentally insecure with a centralized system.”

However, the phone is not labeled a “blockchain-based smartphone” only because of its crypto wallet. Exodus 1 can also run decentralized applications (dApps) and programs that operate on the blockchain.

Chen explained why the phone could be purchased exclusively with cryptocurrency:

“Selling it in crypto only and being the first to do so means we are bringing this directly to the core audience and those who will want this device — the blockchain community.”

Last week, we reported on HTC’s teaser pre-announcing the launch of Exodus 1. The clip published on Instagram hinted that the phone would be launched on Monday, October 22, but the pre-order actually started one day later.

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