HTC Exodus to support crypto wallet, kitties
HTC reveals a dialled-down plan for the world's second blockchain smartphone.
HTC first announced its blockchain smartphone in May, describing the Exodus as a phone that can support bitcoin, Ethereum and others, running in a native blockchain network. The phones serve as nodes where the phone can let people hold and control their own identity and data.
More details have now emerged, showing a pared back design with a phone that supports a native cryptocurrency wallet, described as the most secure hardware wallet around, and applications like CryptoKitties.
Games might not initially seem like the best draw card, but by the numbers it could be a safe bet. Games are some of the most consistently profitable and popular mobile phone apps in the world, and the blockchain gaming field has quickly drawn in some big names.
"Gaming is the most approachable thing on mobile, for the non-crypto crowd," said HTC's Phil Chen.
It can also be a useful way of highlighting one of the actual technological features of cryptocurrency: the ability to create unique and unreplicable digital tokens, whether it's bitcoin or a digital cat. In some ways, digital assets like CryptoKitties might be thought of as gamified currency.
"I want to say it will be available definitely everywhere outside of China," Chen said to The Verge, noting that, "China has different rules, everywhere from regulations to how Android even works in China."
He said that it can be expected around the end of the year with a price announcement by the end of Q3, although he said it would likely be in the $1,000 ballpark. This puts it at about the same price, and very close to the same release date, as the world's other blockchain smartphone, Sirin Labs' Finney, which is set to ship in October.
In the long run, Chen wants to bring out a phone that more closely resembles the original plan of a fully decentralised network of phones, each of which can safeguard its users' data and serve as a node on the network. This is much more ambitious, and also puts HTC in the company of even more competition.
Chen also said that HTC is looking at different consensus protocols that might help make phone cryptocurrency mining a reality, and that the company might release a whitepaper later this year with more details.
Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VET, XLM, BTC, NANO