HTC and other manufacturers are racing to produce blockchain smartphones

The phones aim to take advantage of blockchain technology by affording developers a more secure, decentralized platform

HTC – the struggling Taiwanese smartphone maker – is hoping their upcoming Exodus Bitcoin centric smartphone will help the company escape its pending collapse.

Just this past June, sales plummeted a staggering 68% representing the 11th consecutive quarter of losses. Even more, the company recently laid off some 1,500 employees.

HTC is optimistic that their blockchain-powered smartphone will prove to be its saving grace. Expected to launch sometime later this year, Exodus comes on the heels of the company’s flagship ‘U12 Plus’ smartphone. Like many products released by the company over the past few years, the buggy U12 was unanimously slammed by tech writers.

In an attempt to differentiate itself from others, HTC has decided to make the blockchain a staple technology within Exodus. Although project manager Phil Chen believes the device deserves the title of “world’s first blockchain smartphone,” there’s another manufacturer that’ll disagree.

Near the close of 2017, Sirin Labs – a London based manufacturer – began soliciting crowd-funders for its own blockchain phone called ‘Finney’. Sirin Labs made a name for itself in 2016 when they entered the market with a $14,800 phone that was touted as “the most secure phone ever made.”

According to The Verge, Chen originally envisioned the Exodus as, “a phone where you hold your own keys, you own your own identity and data, and your phone is the hub.” However, as the launch date steadily approaches, he admits that these aforementioned attributes will – on second thought – be found in a future device. Instead, Exodus will feature “the most secure hardware” wallet and a ‘CryptoKitties’ partnership – more specific details about the device have yet to be released.

CryptoKitties is an Ethereum-based game where users breed and trade digital kittens. Surprisingly, society’s cat obsession has resulted in a $12 million dollar windfall for the Canadian startup behind the game. Whether or not this partnership proves to be the lifeline HTC so desperately needs has yet to be seen.

On the other hand, Sirin Labs has released more detailed information as to how its phone will look and operate. Slated to hit shelves this November, Finney will feature two screens, 128GB of storage, a Google-certified ultra-secure version of Android 8.1, and support for LTE, GMS, CDMA200 & UMTS communication standards.

In the end, both phones aim to take advantage of blockchain technology by affording developers a more secure, decentralized platform from which they can develop new and unique mobile applications. Only time will tell how impactful these blockchain-based smartphones turn out to be.

According to both manufacturers, their respective devices will cost roughly $1000 each.

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