Consumer electronics company HTC has been having a tough time lately. Earlier this month, they let go of more than 22 percent of their staff. So, when they announced that they had plans to release a phone that would feature blockchain technology, most people rolled their eyes and thought that this was some sort of prayer from a company who was trying to avoid bankruptcy. “We envision a phone where you hold your own keys, you own your own identity and data, and your phone is the hub,” said Phil Chen, HTC’s Chief Content Officer, back in May.
Earlier this week, HTC released some specs about their upcoming phone called the Exodus, and an estimated release date. If everything goes according to plan, the Exodus will be available for purchase in the next three months.
While not a lot of information is yet available, Mashable reports that the device will have a “cold storage wallet.” No one really knows what this means in the context of a phone, with experts speculating that “cold storage” means that the device’s wallet could work offline.
The company also announced a partnership with Cryptokitties, the first game to feature blockchain technology, which will come preuploaded on all of the HTC devices. According to The Verge, the addition of this game will give those who don’t know much about blockchain technology the opportunity to play with it and explore it. “Gaming is the most approachable thing on mobile, for the non-crypto crowd,” Chen says.
Cryptokitties is a big deal because even though it’s game about collecting cats it’s the only one of it’s kind, containing a secure wallet called Meta Mask. On this game each cat you own is unique and different, stored in your wallet and owned only by you. You can sell these cats as if they were collectible and unique items, which gives the game an edge that no other software is able to give, at least for now.
HTC is one of the only phone companies out there that’s embracing blockchain technology, which has experienced a lot of ups and downs in the previous year with the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin. The Exodus could be the company’s only opportunity to survive and create something that’s innovative and ahead of the curve.