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HTC just unveiled a blockchain-powered smartphone designed to help reinvent the internet

Business Insider logo Business Insider 5/15/2018 Zoë Bernard

htc desire 10 lifestyle © Provided by Business Insider htc desire 10 lifestyle HTC

  • HTC is creating a smartphone it describes as "the first native blockchain phone."
  • The phone, which is called the HTC Exodus and will run on Android, will feature built-in secure hardware and will offer a layer of decentralized apps. 

On Tuesday, HTC unveiled the HTC Exodus — a phone that it's describing as "the world's first native blockchain phone."  

The HTC Exodus, will be similar to HTC's other Android smartphones. The difference is that will be designed to support for blockchain-based distributed apps, and feature what the company describes as "built-in secure hardware."

Details, including price, are currently scant. The big-picture idea, says HTC, is that this is a phone for the privacy-minded user. By using blockchain tech, HTC promises that the Exodus can give privacy-minded users control over their data, without having to rely on the major technology companies for cloud storage. 

Furthermore, the phone will come with a built-in cryptocurrency wallet. Ultimately, HTC says that each Exodus will act as a node for the bitcoin and ethereum blockchains — so that every phone increases the overall size and scope of the network.

Overseeing the project is Phil Chen, best known as the founder of HTC's Vive virtual reality headset business. He left the company in 2015 to get into venture capital, but is now returning to HTC as Decentralized Chief Officer.

Chen discussed his vision for the Exodus at the blockchain conference Consensus in New York. The goal, he said, is to build a phone that supports a decentralized system. Chen said that he believes that a blockchain-powered smartphone might inspire a new wave of decentralized systems, in the same way that the availability of computers once paved the way for the makings of the internet. 

The company suggests that future customers might be able to pay for the phone with cryptocurrencies, but hasn't gone into details. 

"We think that the phone can be an agent in the future for decentralization," said Chen. "We want you to hold your own key [through] a secure management method in our phones."

Here's a sketch, hinting at what the Exodus will look like:

HTC Exodus © Provided by Business Insider HTC Exodus HTC

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a close up of electronics © HTC a circuit board © HTC
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