The smartphone company HTC increased its standing in the cryptocurrency community by extending payment options for their Exodus 1, the native web 3.0 Blockchain Phone, to Binance Coin [BNB], Litecoin [LTC] and the US Dollar.
At the Mobile World Congress, hosted in Barcelona, HTC announced that customers can purchase the phone using fiat currency from 1 March. Previously, the Exodus 1 model was made available only in cryptocurrencies, selling for 0.20 BTC, 5.23 ETH, or 16.23 LTC. The goal for the smartphone company is to ship out 1 million units of Exodus 1 by the close of 2019, despite the ongoing “crypto-winter” that has marred the coin’s prices.
Phil Chen, the company’s ‘Decentralized Chief Officer,’ said that the March launch is a “core launch” post the early access crypto-specific phase that concluded at the end of 2018. At the moment, the phone is offered only through online retailers, but the company is looking to enter into carrier’s stores to expand market penetration.
Furthermore, HTC announced that they will integrate the popular web browser Opera on Exodus 1 to allow users to operate their held cryptocurrencies more widely. Zion, their “private wallet on a blockchain,” will also be operable on Opera, with micro-payments and decentralized applications [DApps] on the device itself.
“Now you could pay an amount like 0.00002 ETH [equivalent to about $0.0027]. And never in the history of micropayments did that make sense. There’d be a transaction fee or you’d have to share revenue with the app store.”
Opera is just the beginning, with HTC pushing to get 80 percent of the most prominent and featured DApps onto Exodus 1. They are also looking to integrate support into the Web 3.0 movement, according to Chen.
Charles Hamel, the Head of Crypto at Opera said that the partnership between Opera and HTC will herald in a “new standard for usability and security of crypto.”
“We are at the dawn of a new generation of the Web, one where new decentralized services will challenge the status quo. HTC and Opera have both made the bold decision to be the first to step up and enable this transformation.”
With respect to security, Exodus’ operating system will not be able to interact with Zion and the demarcation between the two will prevent cyber-criminals from targeting the phone when they aim to break into the wallet.
A social key recovery system will be used to ward off any concerns about the loss of the owner’s private keys. Like the emergency contact on many mobile devices, the social key recovery system will allow users to select a list of contacts, who will receive a portion of the private key from which the private key can be recovered.
However, if the device itself is lost, Chen said,
“That’s been a fundamental problem, if you lose your device or lose your private keys, in this case what happens if you lose your phone? Coming up with the solution of splitting up your keys … without us having access to your keys or storing them on a server … that was a big breakthrough for us.”
Samsung is the latest entrant in the Blockchain and cryptocurrency specific phone market. The South Korean company announced last week that their Galaxy S10 model will support private-keys for blockchain enabled applications, with Samsung Knox. Cryptocurrency-optimists are hoping that this integration is a precursor to a fully-supported cryptocurrency wallet on future Samsung devices.
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Graduate of Finance and Economics, interested in the intersection of the world of decentralized currency and global governance.