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What’s the Deal with Blockchain Phones?

July 23, 2018


When the first iPhone came out, some of us thought our phones could not possibly get much more innovative.


Then came Bitcoin and the Blockchain.


According to a report from Marketwatch that came out on July 11th, Blockchain tech will soon have a momentous effect on the overall telecommunications industry, to the tune of around a billion dollars in growth.


So does this mean we will all be using Blockchain phones in the near future?


The easy answer is not exactly, not until we understand them and their true potential. Related to this, reports have been coming out about HTC and other, smaller firms, working on what have been termed “Blockchain-powered” smart phones.


Despite the existence of these reports, what isn’t quite clear is exactly how the Blockchain could possibly change our current phones for the better.


HTC, which is one of the biggest cell phone companies in the world, has been hemorrhaging money for years and yet, they are planning to move towards possibly being the first mover with regards to selling Blockchain-powered phones.


With their current market share sitting around 1% and still falling, logical questions arise such as: is the Blockchain a viable innovation in the space or is this merely a desperate attempt by a slumping company to try to stay relevant?


Judging by HTC’s example with its interestingly named “Exodus,” some of the principal advantages of owning a Blockchain phone include the ability to easily access a large group of Blockchain networks, as well as increased security to the point that customers own all of their data.


Inside of this idea of individual data ownership are the provisions that customers will be the only ones who have access to their browsing history as well as any information related to their finances and overall identities.


It can be assumed, given what we know about Blockchains, that the way this will work is that each phone will be an individual node on one or more Blockchain networks, instead of an individual node on a public cell phone network.


One possible issue with making such an assumption is that HTC is, by definition, a traditional cell phone company that is required to keep certain pieces of customer data available for authorities to access.


Knowing this, it is logical to wonder how they might still be able to follow through on their promise to provide individual data ownership. As of now, it would be nearly impossible to deduce an answer to this question as the Exodus is not out on the market yet.


It is, however, already in development and it will be released, later this year.


With regards to similar projects, even though HTC is not the first telecommunications company to attempt to launch a Blockchain phone, it is the first to still be going down the same road without controversy.


Sirin Labs, a small Blockchain firm which many consider to be the first mover in this particular niche, has recently been accused of some sort of wrong doing, back in 2017, during their ICO. On the other hand, most of the press on the subject has already been taken down and according to Sirin spokespeople on Reddit, the accusers are merely publicity seekers, with the aim of launching false class action lawsuits.


Whatever the case, up to this point, HTC’s offering is still unscathed by bad press. With the preliminary price point set at $1000 per phone, it will be truly interesting to see if they can garner enough success to justify this endeavor.


In the end, if they succeed, HTC and others who are interested in similar ideas might truly begin to realize their shared goal of escaping the red ocean of the mobile phone space and creating an entirely new industry niche in the process.



By: BGN Editorial Staff

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