Appearing at the Consensus conference this week in New York, Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC has unveiled its plan to launch an Android smartphone fully powered by blockchain technology named ‘Exodus’.

The announcement was made by Phil Chen, the creator behind HTC’s previous smartphone, Vive. Speaking to the audience, he announced his return to the company, where he will be allegedly leading the team in charge of the development of Exodus.

Chen said:

“I want to see a world where the end consumers can truly own their data—browsing history, identity, assets, wallets, emails, messaging—without the need for central authorities. There is a lot of work ahead of us, but I believe the mobile hardware layer can contribute significantly to our new decentralized world.”

Phil Chen

While its release date has yet to be confirmed, it’s generated a great deal of initial enthusiasm. This is due to the plan for the Exodus to host a universal in-built wallet for cryptocurrency, and will reportedly give users a better experience when using decentralized applications (DApps). HTC itself is planning on accepting cryptocurrency payments for the device, although the price is still being decided.

The system will function as a ‘secure hardware enclave’ for its users, while allowing for users to have immediate cross-functional systems. This means that the Exodus smartphone will be able to seamlessly integrate with users’ existing blockchain systems with minimal disruption.

“Through Exodus, we are excited to be supporting underlying protocols such as Bitcoin, Lightning Networks, Ethereum, Dfinity, and more… We would like to support the entire blockchain ecosystem, and in the next few months we’ll be announcing many more exciting partnerships together.”

Phil Chen

HTC’s Exodus is certainly not the first time that a company has sought to place blockchain technology in the hands of smartphone users. In September 2017, Sirin Labs announced its own blockchain smartphone referred to as the Finney. Named after Bitcoin pioneer, Hal Finney.