Fans of HTC will most likely be familiar with its slate of handy gadgets, but not everyone may have heard of HTC’s push towards applying blockchain tech to its smartphones. Interestingly, the HTC Exodus is proof of this push for innovation – but for a hefty price. The HTC Exodus is a $1,000 blockchain phone, which HTC says pushes for better security, privacy options for users. However, is the price really worth the take?
HTC has just unveiled what perhaps can be considered one of its newest and most innovative phones yet, but when HTC Exodus was revealed, there’s nothing “expansive” about it except the fact that it’s the world’s first “blockchain phone” courtesy of a major manufacturer. However, that might change today has HTC has finally unveiled details about this revolutionary product.
According to HTC, the device will cost around $1,000 – which is similar to its competitor, the Finney by Sirin Labs, which is the world’s actual first blockchain phone. There’s no actual price for the Exodus yet, but those interested may expect one by August, with items to be shipped by the end of the year. All of this was revealed by Phil Chen, HTC’s head.
Finney by Sirin Labs, meanwhile, is a phone that allows users to use and store digital currencies – cryptocurrencies, in particular – without having the need to pay for various transaction fees. This means you no longer need separate flash drives for digital wallet, and instead have everything on to go in your device.
This also means the Finney will be capable of doing its job without having to convert digital currencies, and instead work directly with stores. They can even turn their phones into rentable “hotspots” for digital tokens. Fingerprint scans and passwords will be used as security. Interestingly, there are already 25,000 preordered units, with shipping to begin in October.
Perhaps what’s interesting, however, is the inclusion of blockchain technology within the system itself. The point of the Exodus isn’t to have fancy features, but rather to make sure your blockchain currencies and your date remain secure and private on the device itself rather than in the cloud.
Blockchain technology powers cryptocurrency, and is largely becoming one of the most hotly-invested concepts today. Blockchain works much like a digital ledger, but it’s anonymous, immutable, and without a central system. This means things such as currencies can be formed without having to rely on a central figure such as a bank, and at the same time have all members of the system work together to validate transactions.
Perhaps what makes blockchain so popular is that it uses a concept of a digital ledger, where all transactions are recorded across all systems similar to a peer-to-peer file transfer system. One could compare the system to shared documents like Google Docs, where all members of the system have a copy of the file and can add to it. Unlike Google Docs, however, changes to the document (in this case, transactions like in a checkbook) are permanent once validated. Users coordinate to validate such a system through cryptography, and relying on users with vast amounts of computing power (called miners) to “solve” cryptography puzzles in order to properly validate transactions paid using cryptocurrencies.
The result is a system where transactions can be made and validated without the need for a centralized figure to manage everything. When applied to the real world, this means there can be a digitized way of paying for services without having to worry about revealing personal information and risk of fraud.
While there are no specifications yet, the Exodus is shaping up to be a powerful device. When Chen described the machine, it’s not only pegged as a secure and private storage for crypto, it’s also pegged as a miner as well. Mining takes a lot of computing power, especially from graphics processors, which means the Exodus may indeed have quite the impressive set of specs for its caliber.
While the $1,000 tag might be steep, those who value data security and privacy might look at this as a worthy investment – especially now that a lot more devices become more prone to breaches
People have begun to invest in security just as much as they do for pretty screens and speed. As such, while others do prefer the iPhone X, LG G7, and Galaxy S9, there’s still a niche market for products capable of providing better security.
However, while the Exodus does seem promising, it might put some people off when they see the current financial status of HTC. It can be remembered that HTC has been on a downward spiral lately, as the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer said its sales had plunged by as much as 68-percent to $72-million – making this the biggest stump yet of HTC in more than two (2) years.
Unfortunately, the news adds fuel to the fire that’s been plaguing HTC, as this means they’ve been suffering losses for 11 consecutive quarters. Corporate plans currently involve laying off as much as 1,500 employees, which constitute 22-percent of its overall workforce. It will also try to cut its production costs and other costs in order to help return the company to a state of profitability.
The success of Exodus might be critical to jumpstart HTC’s rise, as HTC was considered the fourth best smartphone maker in the world. In 2014, however, it’s dropped just below LG, Lenovo, Xiaomi, Apple, and Samsung. This is saddening to HTC fans, especially since the brand is knowing for top-tier specs, and big and bright screens.
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