HTC Launches Bitcoin Phone

HTC Launches Bitcoin Phone
The Exodus 1 can store users' cryptocurrencies in a secluded storage area separate from the Android environment.

(CCM) — Taiwanese phone-maker HTC has unveiled a blockchain-based smartphone which has been designed to store the owner's cryptocurrencies securely.

The Exodus 1 incorporates a hardware cryptocurrency wallet which is completely separated from the phone's Android operating system, Phil Chen, HTC's decentralized chief officer, explained in a CNBC report.

"Think of it as a micro OS that runs in parallel with Android," Chen said in the report. "It basically is a wallet, [and] what it does is hold your private keys." These private keys are meant to be kept confidential, and are needed whenever a user wants to access their Bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies. Chen added that Android is "fundamentally insecure," so storing cryptocurrency within the Android environment would put the cryptocurrencies at high risk.

The new phone is part of a shift in HTC's smartphone strategy. The company has struggled to make an impact in the conventional smartphone market while competing against the likes of Apple and Samsung, so it now plans to prioritize software and intellectual property.

Emphasizing its cryptocurrency credentials, the company has decided not to set a price for the smartphone in conventional currencies. Instead it will be available in December priced at 0.15 Bitcoins or 4.78 Ethereum Tokens, which is approximately $960 at today's exchange rates.

Image: © HTC.