Taiwanese tech company HTC will allow customers to buy its blockchain-based phone, the Exodus 1, with fiat (real money) currency all around the world, according to reports.
The phone, which could previously only be bought through cryptocurrency, will be available for real-money purchase in March at a cost of $699, or a local currency equivalent.
The phone was built for a decentralized web in the hopes that utilizing blockchain technology would attract a certain type of customer — one who is more security-aware.
The phone offers heightened data protection and transactions that are less corruptible, HTC said. The beta version of the phone was released in October, but was only available for purchase with Bitcoin or Ethereum. At the time of its release, it cost 0.15 BTC or 4.78 ETH (about $960). It began shipping in mid-January.
The phone can also be purchased with Litecoin and Binanace Coin.
Blockchain-based phones are becoming more common in the marketplace. Sirin Labs recently launched the Finney, which boasts a built-in storage wallet for cryptocurrency that activates when you slide a “safe screen” from the rear of the phone. Samsung’s S10 also contains a built-in crypto wallet.
HTC said it was opening its API to specific partners, like phone-browser maker Opera, to make use of the Exodus 1’s security features.
“We are at the dawn of a new generation of the web, one where new decentralized services will challenge the status quo,” said Charles Hamel, head of cryptocurrency at Opera Browsers. “HTC and Opera have both made the bold decision to be the first to step up and enable this transformation.”
Phil Chen, decentralized chief officer at HTC, said it’s important to get things right when using new technology.
“Exodus is about the future of data and getting the right architecture for the internet, one that includes security, privacy, and transfer of ownership of data back to the person generating it,” Chen said.