The blockchain-based HTC Exodus 1 is now up for pre-orders as HTC announced the phone is now ready. The phone is unlike other mainstream phones in the sense that it was promised as a node for bitcoin trading among users. It was also supposed to let you “own your identity”. None of those features are there in the final version though. Instead, the Exodus 1 that’s up for pre-orders is a spec-sheet heavy smartphone that has a secure enclave in the hardware to store the keys and tokens of cryptocurrencies.
HTC announced it was working on the phone in May. Back then, the company’s Chief Decentralised Officer Phil Chen had promised radical new things of the phone. Instead, the final version is a watered down version of the claims made back then. It only has a section cordoned off from the rest of the phone for additional security. The press release states the secure place is “protected from the Android OS”.
Although, that’s not all. The HTC is also offering a social key recovery system that can let you recover your crypto keys if you accidentally lose your crypto wallet. Essentially, you can keep your crypto info with a few people you trust. They will need to download a key management app from HTC. The company will then use a secret sharing algorithm to send the information to your friends and when needed, the info can be pieced together again.
HTC is also opening up the Exodus 1 for third parties to build their own keys and wallets. The secure smartphone is also quite powerful. It is IP68-rated water and dust resistant and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 coupled with 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage along with a 3,500mAh battery. There’s a 16-megapixel dual rear camera on the back and a pair of 8-megapixel cameras on the front. Both cameras offer portrait mode and can record 4K videos in 60 FPS. It runs on Android Oreo 8.1.
Interestingly, the phone will be sold only in exchange for cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and Ethereum. You can buy the phone for 0.15BTC or 4.78ETH. As of publishing this article, it’s valued at a whopping Rs 3,66,061. The phone is expected to start shipping from December. It will be available in 34 countries and regions, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, US, UK, Austria, Norway, US and other countries in Europe.