Most people know of the blockchain as the ledger that records cryptocurrency transactions. With the help of gadget manufacturer HTC, the world may soon associate the blockchain with smartphones, too.
The brand recently announced its intentions to make a blockchain-enabled phone. If successful, it could change how people use their phones and access the associated data.
It’s Called the Exodus
The name is one of the few concrete details associated with HTC’s new creation. The phone’s referred to as the Exodus in the media. However, there’s no word on when people can mention the product by name to request it from their favorite retailers.
It’ll Work With Numerous Blockchain Technologies
People who own the Exodus could possess the first-ever phone that works on the blockchain. However, it’s worth noting that a company called Sirin Labs is working on a blockchain phone, too. That model is the Finney, and the expected retail price is $1000. Other companies are aiming to come up with blockchain phones, as well. So, HTC might not be as pioneering as it initially seems.
While using the Exodus, people have the option of using several Blockchain technologies including Bitcoin, Ethereum Lightning Networks and Dfinity. If new technologies emerge and make significant impacts before the phone’s release, the gadget might have compatibility with those, too.
It won’t be necessary to show a preference for one blockchain technology. Instead, people can switch back and forth between them all as desired.
Expect a Native Blockchain Network
Despite the option to use the phone on those networks mentioned above, reports from HTC indicate the company wants to create a native blockchain network for Exodus users that will let people trade cryptocurrency within the system.
It Won’t Look Different From a Normal Phone
A concept drawing of the Exodus indicates it’ll have typical phone features, including memory slots and a camera. Unless things change and HTC opts to incorporate the word “blockchain” into the product’s imaging, there likely won’t be any exterior features that let people know it’s a gadget offering something others don’t.
Some high-tech features rumored to appear on future phones include folding screens and improved biometrics systems. The Exodus will arguably be just as advanced, but with technology that’s not as outwardly obvious.
Based on a Decentralized System
Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain have disrupted the global economy in numerous ways — that’s partially due to the decentralized nature that means people can deal with cryptocurrencies and not have bank accounts.
Similarly, they can transfer cryptocurrencies to people without relying on the often costly and slow money-transfer network.
The Exodus caters to people who find the decentralization of cryptocurrencies attractive and want to incorporate the blockchain into their lives more than ever.
Does the Market Expand Beyond Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts?
Some analysts wonder if there’s a need for another cryptocurrency phone, especially since HTC is not the only brand trying to make one. There’s also the question of whether the demand for the phone will be large enough to justify the manufacturing costs. Probably not, if the gadget only appeals to people who have already embraced cryptocurrencies.
But, the Exodus will reportedly have built-in security features, such as a universal wallet. Also, each Exodus phone is a blockchain node. Users and their data exist on the phone itself instead of in a centralized cloud.
The ability to have ownership of personal data could be desirable to people who are disillusioned by mega companies like Google and Facebook that track what users do online.
Plus, there are plans to run decentralized apps — also known as DApps — on the Exodus, complete with a dedicated, user-friendly interface to run them. Those are open-source applications with all operation records stored on the blockchain. Successfully making a change to a DApp requires first obtaining a vote of approval from the majority of app users.
How to Indicate Interest in Purchasing
HTC hasn’t mentioned costs associated with the Exodus. However, people can indicate interest in owning the phone by providing their names and emails on a reservation form.
Notably, that reservation page includes the names of several people working to make the Exodus a reality, all of whom have substantial backgrounds in gadgets, the blockchain or both. If the talent behind the phone is an indication of its worthiness, there’s reason to get excited.
Kayla Matthews is a journalist and technology writer for MakeUseOf and Digital Trends. You can also find her work on The Next Web, VentureBeat and The Week. To read more posts by Kayla, visit her blog Productivity Bytes.