HTC Exodus: The blockchain phone that could change the internet as we know it

We speak to HTC's Phil Chen about why its blockchain phone could be a new dawn for the internet.

HTC may have raised eyebrows when it announced a blockchain-themed smartphone earlier this year, but the compny is now very nearly ready to take the wraps of the device.

The HTC Exodus is looking to expand the blockchain ecosystem to more users than ever before, putting the power (and more importantly, the security) of cryptocurrency directly into users' hands and pockets.

TechRadar Pro spoke to Phil Chen, HTC's head of Exodus (and brains behind the Vive VR headset), ahead of a conference where he was set to reveal more on the device, and found out the following.

It's super-secure

One of the major worries around cryptocurrencies has concerned security, with users worried that their hard-won funds will be stolen or spirited away.

HTC is looking to ameliorate these worries by ensuring that the Exodus offers top-end security for a user's cryptocurrency. Chen told us that of the 30-35 million crypto wallets currently around today, only around two million of these are super-secure hardware wallets, with the latter users enjoying more peace of mind by directly holding their funds.

“Centralisation is not safe," he says, “One of the most critical things within crypto is architecting security within the was never built in to the original internet.”

To solve these security worries, HTC has built a secure enclave within what it calls the "trust zone" directly within the Arm hardware found in the Exodus. This is empowered with a new standard it calls trust execution environment, which keeps your cryptocurrency funds safe and sound.

This is completely separate from the Android OS, meaning it is even harder for anyone to gain access to the wallet and steal your coins.

Chen adds that the technology could all be used to store user data such as fingerprint and facial scans in the near future, offering a locked-down space to safeguard your most personal information.

Even with the toughest security software around, sometimes technology can be defeated by something completely unpredictable - the human brain.

Luckily the HTC Exodus comes with a unique security safeguard if you do misplace your phone, and with it, all your precious currency.

Chen revealed that the device will come with a system called Social Key Recovery, which should mean that it's nearly impossible for hackers to gain access to your storage wallet. That's because the wallet can only be recovered or accessed with a unique key, and during the set-up process of the device, you'll be asked to select a handful (Chen says between three and five) contacts, be they friends, family or colleagues, each of whom will then receive a part of the key, accessed only through a special app.

If you do misplace your device, getting access to the wallet can only be done by obtaining all the part of your key (think Harry Potter and Voldemort's horcruxes), which HTC says again minimises the possibility of you ever losing your currency.

Chen says the final details of the system are still being thrashed out, with discussions still ongoing over recovery time limits and PC storage, but it sounds like recovering your device could soon be like something out of an RPG.

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About HTC
HTC Corporation aims to bring brilliance to life. As a global innovator in smart mobile devices and technology, HTC has produced award-winning products and industry firsts since its inception in 1997, including the critically acclaimed HTC U and Desire lines of smartphones. The pursuit of brilliance is at the heart of everything we do, inspiring best-in-class design and game-changing mobile and virtual reality experiences for consumers around the world. HTC is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE: 2498).

About Exodus
HTC’s Project Exodus is a smartphone solution that will power the decentralized web. For more than 20 years, HTC has created foundational technology for worldwide mobile and virtual reality technology. Through Exodus, HTC is investing in the development and implementation of blockchain technology that will usher in a new area of secure data storage and transactions and take blockchain technology mobile for the first