HTC has launched the ‘early access’ period for its first blockchain phone, the Exodus 1, which is so blockchained that early adopters can only pay for it in cryptocurrency.
Punters who go to www.htcexodus.com can pre-order the handset using either Bitcoin or Ether as payment. The smartphone is priced at 0.15 BTC or 4.78 ETH. HTC says the Exodus 1 is expected to ship in December, and will be available in 34 countries including the US, Taiwan, HK, Singapore, New Zealand, UK, Austria, Norway and other European countries.
The HTC Exodus 1 contains a secure enclave – a locked area on the device that is protected from the Android OS. This secure enclave will hold the keys to the user’s crypto, whether that is currencies or non-fungible tokens (NFTs) or in the very near future, all their digital data.
HTC has developed a Social Key Recovery mechanism in case the phone is lost or stolen, or users forget their keys. HTC says this is an easy and secure way to recover keys lost in the hardware, and also ensures that HTC does not hold anyone’s keys in a central location at any point – the user maintain full custody at all times.
HTC allows each user to pick a few trustworthy contacts, all of whom must download a key management app. The seed then gets split using a secret sharing algorithm and is sent to the trusted contacts. Should the need arise, users can successfully regain access to their funds.
As this is the early access version of the Exodus device, HTC is inviting cryptographers and developers from all over the world to join its Exodus community and help improve the strength of this secure enclave.
“For digital assets and decentralized apps to reach their potential, we believe mobile will need to be the main point of distribution,” says Phil Chen, “Decentralized Chief Officer” at HTC.
HTC also said it will soon release APIs that will allow third-party developers to use the Exodus 1 hardware to protect keys and sign transactions. It will release the Zion key management API and wallet SDK to partners to expand the blockchain ecosystem and build a foundation of security and trust.