In 2018, HTC, the Taiwan-based technology giant and smartphone manufacturer, shocked the crypto world when it unveiled plans to launch a blockchain-friendly device. This marked the first time that a large technology corporation had revealed it was allocating serious capital towards a cryptocurrency product.
Unlike many other ventures in this embryonic industry and contrary to critics’ expectations, the device, dubbed “EXODUS 1 (One)” by HTC, has flourished. In fact, industry legends, namely Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin, have adopted the phone for day-to-day use. The EXODUS team, led by venture capitalist and technologist Phil Chen, is looking to build on its initial success with a new device — the EXODUS 1s.
Related Reading: HTC Will Accept Fiat Currency for Exodus Crypto Smartphone
Crypto-Friendly EXODUS Phone To See Refresh
Announced Saturday at New York’s Magical Crypto Conference, hosted by Litecoin’s Charlie Lee, Samson Mow of Blockstream, Whale Panda, and Riccardo Spagni, the EXODUS 1s is expected to be a more “value-oriented” version of its predecessor.
The best part, the EXODUS 1s won’t be rife with compromises. Instead, the new device will contain the “revolutionary pairing of smartphone technology with blockchain technology” that has existed, succeeded, and is being built on top of right now. It is important to note that the EXODUS 1s’ specifications have yet to be divulged.
What makes this new offering tantalizing is that it will be sold at a lower price level (cost to-be-announced), giving users in developing nations, many of whom need access to financial services, a chance at benefiting from HTC’s technologies. A press release elaborates:
“It will allow users in emerging economies, or those wanting to dip their toes into the crypto world for the first time, easier access to the technology with a more accessible price point. This will democratize access to crypto and blockchain technology and help its global proliferation and adoption.”
What’s more, the EXODUS 1s will purportedly be the first consumer-facing smartphone to have full node capabilities, giving its users the opportunity to download the full Bitcoin blockchain to their phone, disvaluing third-party nodes that can be manipulated and improving privacy. In a comment, Phil remarked that “full nodes are the most important ingredient in the resilience of the Bitcoin network”, and that lowering the barriers to entry in this arena will help the establishment of a “free world” predicated on decentralized technologies.
In the aforementioned press release, HTC also divulged that it has open-sourced the Zion Vault SDK, some of the tech behind EXODUS’ on-device cold storage and asset management system; partnered with privacy-centric search browser Qwant; enabled Ethereum block explorer Etherscan; and has expanded support for ERC-721 crypto assets, which could be integral to the impending blockchain revolution.
This recent announcement confirms local reports released over the past two weeks. For instance, DigiTimes reported that according to Phil Chen explained that his team’s flagship product was to be succeeded by a newfangled device. He said that “in addition to supporting the management of cryptocurrencies and related technologies,” along with the security of digital assets/collectibles, the new smartphone will include blockchain-enabled applications for browsing, messaging, social media, among other areas.
The Importance Of Blockchain-Enabled Devices
To some skeptics, a “blockchain phone” may sound questionable, but Phil Chen claims that Exodus is of utmost importance. In an interview with NewsBTC, he further explained his thoughts on the matter. When asked about the importance of Exodus, Chen remarked that if you boil the smartphone down, he thinks it’s the “only phone that empowers users to own their private keys.” He adds that this simple feature is a “foundational principle” of the decentralized web, which cryptocurrencies are and will continue to be integral too.
On the matter of why owning one’s own private keys is essential, Chen tells NewsBTC that consumers should care about their personal data, as “the way we are trading small conveniences in exchange for micro invasions of privacy,” has “major ramifications,” even for democracy. He concludes:
“There’s a very moral movement around this. When you don’t own your crypto assets or data or identity, there is something fundamentally wrong about that. If there’s a sovereign identity that is you — things that you’ve created, attributes or characteristics that describe you — that you don’t own, there’s something entirely wrong, especially because we are this far into the information age, and there’s no concept of digital property — what is yours, what is mine… These people would have likely read the book 1984 to understand the issues with all this.”