HTC is planning to build a new blockchain-powered phone featuring a built-in cryptocurrency wallet.
The touted Android device, known as Exodus, will come packaged with a universal wallet and hardware support for all major cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, as well as featuring decentralised applications.
Taiwanese manufacturer HTC is aiming to sync its Exodus devices to a native blockchain network, with each device acting as nodes, enabling cryptocurrency trading among users with ease.
Head HTC’s business and corporate development Phil Chen, who founded the company’s virtual reality system Vive, outlined these plans in an interview with The Next Web, also providing provisional schematics.
“Through Exodus, we are excited to be supporting underlying protocols such as Bitcoin, Lightning Networks, Ethereum, Dfinity, and more,” Chen said. “We would like to support the entire blockchain ecosystem, and in the next few months we’ll be announcing many more exciting partnerships together.”
HTC’s latest innovation follows in the footsteps of electronic manufacturing giant Foxconn, which last month announced it had agreed to build a blockchain-powered device developed by Sirin Labs.
The Finney, which is expected to ship in October, features a ‘cold storage’ crypto wallet, enabled via a physical switch, that, when flicked, immediately turns off all unencrypted communications – meaning the crypto wallet will be offline unless deliberately activated.
HTC’s announcement continues a recent trend of companies taking up blockchain technology in a bid to refresh and enhance their products and services – with a range of sectors, from finance to automotive, indulging in the new technology’s appeal.
Automakers such as BMW, Ford, Groupe Renault and General Motors, for instance, earlier this month came together to form a consortium that will explore how blockchain can reinvent mobility and address industry shifts.
But KPMG, meanwhile, believes blockchain still remains in the “hype stage” with results not expected till at least 2019 at the earliest.
Speaking to in February, KPMG head of tech growth Patrick Imbach said: “I’m not sure actually whether some sort of tangible use-cases and commercial models based on blockchain technologies will evolve over the next months.
“We’re still a little bit early in that process, I wouldn’t expect any exciting commercial opportunities to arise in large numbers any time soon – in the UK, particularly.”
The use and exchange of cryptocurrencies have been largely unregulated to date – but a handful of regulatory bodies have indicated plans to provide some oversight on trading in future, with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) last month announcing its intention to launch a regulatory review of cryptocurrencies.