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HTC launches blockchain phone

The Exodus 1 can only be purchased with either Bitcoin or Ethereum.

a black cell phone

The Taiwan based phone producer HTC is launching a blockchain incorporated mobile phone, the company announced last week. To support its recently launched crypto wallet Zion, the phone includes blockchain technology within the software, to enable its users to store the keys for their cryptocurrencies. A key is a unique and sophisticated code which users need to gain access to their cryptocurrencies.

Over the past decade, there have been dozens of news headlines announcing the latest victims of phone hacking. In addition to the phone hackings, numerous crypto exchanges have been hacked since the rise in crypto’s popularity. So what is stopping a hacker from breaking into an HTC Exodus and stealing thousands of pounds’ worth of cryptocurrencies? HTC has installed a secured enclave, separated from the Android’s operating system (OS), where the keys will be stored. This prevents hackers from gaining access to the keys if they are successful in hacking the OS.

In the event that the phone is stolen or the user has forgotten the password to the wallet, the funds can be retrieved through trusted companions. A social key recovery system is installed in the phone, which enables the user to nominate several trusted contacts, who will receive a share of the funds when the phone is declared stolen. So long as the recipient is trustworthy, they can then send forward the retrieved funds.

To improve the security of the phone, HTC welcomes cryptographers and developers to give feedback as to how the device could be developed and be made more secure.

Phil Chen, Decentralized Chief Officer at HTC, said: “It’s been both 10 years since the launch of the first Android phone by HTC and nearly 10 years since the launch of Bitcoin and the Genesis Block. Exodus 1 is a foundational element of the crypto internet. For digital assets and decentralised apps to reach their potential, we believe mobile will need to be the main point of distribution. We look forward to partnering with developers in the blockchain community to usher in this vision.”

To encourage the use of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, HTC will only be accepting Bitcoin or Ethereum as methods of payment for the phone. At the time of the announcement, the Exodus 1 cost 0.15 BTC or 4.78 ETH. HTC expects to ship the phone by December.

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