First announced back in May, the Exodus 1 smartphone contains a cryptocurrency wallet – called “Zion” – that is kept in a secure area “protected from the Android OS” for private keys and virtual cash. The phone will run decentralized apps on the blockchain and has a “Social Key Recovery” function, which lets users regain access to their funds via trusted contacts if they lose their keys.
The Exodus 1 reflects the company’s changing smartphone strategy with an increased focus on software and intellectual property. According to the company, the phone’s integrated blockchain technology strengthens the security and privacy of a user’s assets, and will in the future help with protecting a user’s data and identity.
“The reason why you do a blockchain phone is,” Phil Chen, HTC’s decentralized chief officer, told CNBC, “for everybody just to own their own keys. Everything starts there. When you start owning your own keys, then you can start owning your own digital identity, then you can start to own data.”
Other features of the Exodus 1 are typical of current flagship smartphones, including a six-inch display with quad-HD+ resolution; a 16-megapixel dual main camera and 8-MP dual front camera with 4K video; a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor; and six gigabytes of RAM and 128 GB of storage. The device includes a 3,500-mAh battery with IP68 waterproof rating.
The Exodus 1 is available for pre-order at a price of 0.15 bitcoins or 4.78 ether tokens – which is currently about $960. It is expected to ship by December and will be available in 34 countries, including the United States, most of Europe, Taiwan, New Zealand, Singapore, and others.