The HTC Exodus smartphone, whose headline feature is a discrete cryptoasset hardware wallet built into the phone, will soon be available for purchase with fiat money as opposed to only crypto, which was previously the case. According to Cnet, the device will go on sale for fiat on March 1.
The phone has been available for purchase with crypto online since December, via payment gateway CoinPayments. In addition to the most common buying options, with Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), and Ethereum (ETH), the smartphone could also be had with Binance Coin (BNB).
(source: HTC Exodus checkout)
News of the inevitable new option to buy the phone with national fiat currencies came during the 2019 Mobile World Congress, held in Barcelona, Catalonia.
M-of-N social key recovery in the @htcexodus "blockchain phone"— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) January 19, 2019
I've been a proponent of such things for a long time; really happy to see it implemented and look forward to seeing this feature get used more and hopefully see wider adoption in the crypto community. pic.twitter.com/S8wMBycLNw
The phone also has a trusted hardware chip to store keys securely (not yet a hardware switch showing the user when the trusted hardware chip is actually controlling the screen but I hear that's coming in the next version?) and encryption by default— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) January 19, 2019
Mobile World Congress
In addition to the fiat news, other details about the phone came out during the industry-leading trade show.
We are thrilled to announce the partnership between @Opera and the #EXODUS1 . Together we are enabling a secure and user friendly ecosystem for the #blockchain community. #BUIDL #HODL #HTCEXODUS #ZIONVault pic.twitter.com/cqUcAkozHZ— HTC EXODUS (@htcexodus) February 26, 2019
We learned yesterday that HTC have partnered with the Opera Browser, with Opera building exclusive functionality into the pairing. To wit, Opera on the Exodus will be able to access the Zion cryptoasset wallet, which is the phone’s interface into its hardware wallet - picture a supercharged Metamask.
Although the phone also includes the Brave Browser's mobile version out of the box, which serves as a platform for the Basic Attention Token (BAT) and its ecosystem, it seems that HTC’s priority will be on Opera.
We also learned of a number of purpose-built decentralized apps (dApp) that are compatible with HTC’s device. According to The Verge, a special Exodus-only dApp store will be adding “about 20” new dApps, including one that tracks users’ physical routines - like walking, sleeping, and driving - and allows them to sell that data to companies.
HTC has for some years been an underdog in the mobile phone race, having suffered staggering losses in this department for years, and losing most of its research resources to Google.
In this vein, Samsung’s recent announcement of supporting cryptoassets via the Enjin Crypto Wallet will probably overshadow HTC’s news by a large margin.