HTC is one of the top manufacturers in the world for smartphones, and they’ve decided to take on blockchain in an innovative way – with a blockchain-based smartphone. Though every other smartphone can be purchased with fiat currency, Exodus 1 is the exception. According to a recent statement from HTC, this phone can only be purchased with Bitcoin and Ethereum.
This smartphone is priced at 0.15 Bitcoin or 4.78 Ethereum, which would be nearly $1,000, if the company has any intention of selling it for cash. However, consumers should keep in mind that, since the product is only based on the 0.15 Bitcoin selling point, the actual value can be much higher or lower than that over time.
For instance, if BTC rises to the $10,000 price tag that it reached only a few months ago, then the actual cost that Exodus 1 would equate to would be closer to $1,500. As such, HTC will most likely adjust the required crypto tokens to maintain a realistic price for the phone.
The main feature that HTC boasts about their phone is the high level of security. The whole point of the device is to function as a hardware cryptocurrency wallet, which means that users don’t have to worry about the risks they have when storing their tokens online. HTC had already developed Zion, a built-in wallet, on the Android OS. However, Exodus 1 operated independently from the operating system to reduce the risk of a breach.
Samsung revealed that the safest place to carry cryptocurrency, in comparison with online wallets, is with a mobile phone. In fact, when they made this claim in July, they said that mobile phones surpassed the safety of other hardware as well, like desktop computers or laptops, because of the Trusted Execution Environment, (TEE).
With this ecosystem in place, hackers can’t get a hold of the protected information, even if there’s a hacking attempt. Joel Snyder, who is a senior IT consultant with Samsung Insights, elaborated, saying,
“This is why smartphones have an edge over laptops and desktops for cryptocurrency wallets: without the benefits of the hardware-based TEE, the keys are more vulnerable. There is a significant caveat: a naïve wallet developer might choose to simply store the keys on the normal internal storage of the phone, in which case there’s little additional protection from using the smartphone platform.”
As far as the reasoning for only using cryptocurrency, head of the blockchain initiative at HTC, Phil Chen, said that the core audience of the phone is cryptocurrency users. He added,
“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. It reflects our belief in cryptocurrencies – in fact we had to recreate and overcome many processes internally, as well as find new distributors, so that we can achieve the goal of only accepting cryptocurrencies as the form of payment.”