Taiwanese manufacturer HTC has released their venture into blockchain focused smart phones with their new Exodus1, a move that sees the company pivot towards a privacy focus in a bid to maintain relevance. The phone runs on Android and will come equipped with HTC's newly developed native Zion wallet. It uses a secluded area on the phones chip which runs in parallel to the Android OS, effectively rendering the phone a hardware wallet.
In a somewhat unique venture among merchants, HTC has decided the only way to purchase this phone is via cryptocurrency. At first glance this may seem limiting to the number of units HTC can sell, but upon closer inspection reveals a bold, if somewhat risky move.
More Than Just Buzzword Hype?
By widely publicizing the fact they are making this phone, and further using cryptocurrency as a marketing gimmick to generate buzz for the phone's release HTC may have done something good for the crypto space overall. This move simultaneously encourages participation in the cryptocurrency space by the uninitiated, gives HTC further exposure to the crypto markets, and provides a use case for cryptocurrency beyond speculating.
Investing In Crypto?
This goes beyond NVidia dabbling in mining hardware. HTC is showing a commitment to the cryptocurrency space by manufacturing this hardware. By building the chip into the phone HTC has also given those on a budget a way to avoid having to choose between a hardware wallet and a smartphone. Sirin Labs also recently announced they may abandon their blockchain phone in favor of licensing the software, which would make HTC likely the only phone manufacturer operating in the space.
What's the Cost?
HTC's early access Exodus 1 was available for pre-order purchase via BTC, ETH, or LTC. At the time of this writing the pre-order has already sold out, indicating this phone could be well received in the crypto community.
- 16 megapixel dual main camera & 8MP dual front camera with 4K video.
- 6 inch display with quad-HD+ resolution.
- 6 GB DDR4x RAM and 128GB of storage.
- 4G LTE Network
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor.
Internet searching found the pre-order price was 0.15 bitcoins or 4.78 ether tokens, which translates to about $960. Though the price tag is steep, it is commensurate with the Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and Google Pixel phones, making the Exodus a potential contender in the smartphone space.
It should be noted that there are a number of excellent mobile wallets which can provide similar security and flexibility which do not require the purchase of special hardware, and can be found for free. We would be remiss not to mention our Co-Founder's own Monarch Wallet, available now on iOS, Android, MacOS, and Windows.
Is Exodus1 More Secure?
Phil Chen, HTC's decentralized chief officer argues that Google's centralized Android operating system is fundamentally insecure, and thus storing your funds on a standard phone makes them more vulnerable to hackers. He also recognizes the value of data as a commodity and wants to help people retain more privacy in an increasingly one-sided world of transparency.
Google, Facebook, and Amazon all make a large portion of their revenue by collecting and selling data. As people are further commoditized the ability to restrict what third parties know about your shopping, spending, or browsing habits becomes more important.
Furthering The Cause
In other good news for HTC they recently announced their partnership with Brave. Brave is a free, open source web browser that is based on, and functions very similarly to Chrome.
The Exodus 1 will now ship with Brave installed as the standard browser, as announced by Brave Co-Founder and Mozilla alum Brendan Eich in a tweet on December 8th. Brave gives users a variety of privacy options for blocking web trackers and ads in addition to Web3.0 functionality.
When browsing with Brave, users can spend BAT for visiting favorite websites while maintaining Ad Blockers, or being rewarded with BAT for choosing to view certain ads or content. We recorded a walkthrough video showing you how to claim your free $25 in BAT just for downloading the browser, you can watch it below for more info on Brave.
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