Aventador S by Skyler Grey: First Lamborghini Certified via Blockchain Technology

Siamak Masnavi

For the Monterey Car Week (2019) in California, Automobili Lamborghini ("Lamborghini") presented something very special: the one-off "Aventador S by Skyler Grey", a Lamborghini Aventador S in Arancio Atlas (orange) personalized by 19-year-old American artist Skyler Grey "who has been called the “Fresh Prince of Street Art" and is a "rising star of world street art."

Monterey Car Week is "one of the most anticipated automobile events in Monterey County, California every year;" it starts on August 9 and finishes on August 18.

According to Lamborghini's press release, Skyler Grey is "the youngest artist to have his work exhibited in museums and international art fairs, and he was named in the 2017 Forbes “30 under 30” list of the most influential artists worldwide." His pop art has "often brought him comparisons to artists the likes of Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Jean-Michel Basquiat." 

Katia Bassi, Chief Marketing & Communication Officer of Automobili Lamborghini, had this to say:

Because of the affinity we feel with the world of art, we wanted to experiment with a new creative approach, entrusting Skyler Grey with the interpretation of a car that is already itself a work of art. It is a project connected with our new paint shop in Sant’Agata Bolognese, a place where technology and art meet and where our specialists are tasked with turning our customers’ dreams into reality, in the search for aesthetic perfection.

The car was delivered to Skyler Grey as though it were "a blank canvas," and was "painted in the new Lamborghini paint shop just recently inaugurated in Sant’Agata Bolognese."

The unique Aventador S by Skyler Grey, which has already been purchased by an art collector, will be the first Lamborghini to be certified via blockchain technology via a pilot project called “Lamborghini Sicura” that was "launched in collaboration with Salesforce and aimed at protecting the car as a work of art." This involves "a process of authenticity certification, which makes use of Salesforce Blockchain technology to guarantee data security and incorruptibility."

The aims of this protection system are to "to prevent counterfeiting; to trace and certify all the information related to the model; and at the same time favor an increase of value for all the stakeholders."

Featured Image Courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.

HTC Says Its Latest Cryptophone Puts 'A Metaphorical Swiss Bank in Your Pocket'

On Saturday (October 19), Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC launched the Exodus 1s, which it says is "the first ever mobile device with Bitcoin Full Node support."

A Brief History of HTC's Experience With Building Crypto-Friendly Phones

On 15 May 2018, at the Consensus 2018 blockchain summit in New York City, Phil Chen, the "Decentralized Chief Officer" (DCO) for HTC announced the firm's plan to create HTC Exodus, "the world's first native blockchain phone."

The first Exodus model to launch was the Exodus 1, which went on sale in Europe and the U.S. late last year. It initially cost 0.15 BTC (though later, it became possible to buy it for $699). HTC's reason for calling this a "blockchain phone" was that it came with a built-in hardware wallet and a pre-installed Decentralized Apps (DApps) browser that was integrated with this hardware.

HTC says that its wallet app, Zion Vault, "uses the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) to protect your private keys and sensitive data," and that it supports storing, sending, and receiving organize over 100 types of cryptocurrencies."

The HTC Exodus 1 is a dual-sim Android-powered phone with the following specs:

  • 6.0” Quad HD+ display with 18:9 aspect ratio
  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 845 processor
  • 3500mAh battery
  • Android Oreo (i.e. Android version 8.x)
  • 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM

What happened next is that HTC used its experience with the Exodus 1 and feedback from developers and the market to build a more budget-friendly device: the Exodus 1s. This is the device that HTC introduced yesterday at the two-day Lightning Conference in Berlin. In fact, HTC started selling some of the first production units at this event, and was even accepting payments via Bitcoin's Lightning Network. Other cryptocurrencies that HTC accepts as means of payment are Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Binance Coin (BNB), and Bitcoin Cash.

The HTC Exodus 1s

So now know that HTC has two crypto-friendly phones, the Exodus 1 and the Exodus 1s. These days, HTC has a new term to describe its crypto-friendly Exodus phones; on the Exodus website, it says  "SMARTPHONE + HARDWARE WALLET = CRYPTOPHONE". This means that HTC is currently selling two cryptophones.

What is special about the HTC Exodus 1 is not just its lower price (EUR 210, which is approximately USD 235), but the fact that, according to HTC, it is the first mobile phone that supports running a Bitcoin full node (with the blockchain data to be stored on a 400GB microSD card that needs to be purchased separately).

HTC says that running a Bitcoin full node on your phone "not only grows the Bitcoin network, but also help secure it." HTC also believes that it is better not to "wait for others to verify your transactions", and that with this phone, you can "verify yourself, anytime, anywhere."

Here is Chen (HTC's DCO) explaining to Forbes the significance of running your Bitcoin full node:

It plays a really important role in the whole bitcoin ecosystem. It allows you to relay transactions, confirm transactions, validate transactions, and it’s basically one of the best ways for anybody to contribute to the whole security of the network.

According to Techcrunch, Chen believes that with the Exodus 1s, you can essentially have a "a metaphorical Swiss bank in your pocket":

We gave users the ability to own their own keys, and now we’ve gone one step further to allow users to run their own full Bitcoin node. We are providing the tools for access to universal basic finance; the tools to have a metaphorical Swiss bank in your pocket.

Chen also told Forbes that HTC is considering adding support for other major blockchains:

We’ll certainly learn a lot of how people will interact with bitcoin, what they do with a full node, and we want to apply those learnings to future other public blockchains.

 These are the specs for the HTC Exodus 1s:

  • 5.7” HD+ 18:9 display
  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 435 processor
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Android Oreo 8.1
  • 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM

The HTC Exodus 1s will be initially available in Europe, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE (but HTC plans to offer the phone at some future date in other countries).

In case you are wondering why HTC is so interested in crypto, this is what Chen told CNBC:

Initially considered a gimmick by some, crypto technology is the next frontier of smartphone innovation. For the smartphone category to grow again, we need more adoption of cryptophones.

HTC's CEO said in an interview with Techcrunch that although we don't yet have mainstream adoption of cryptophones, the Exodus 1s gives consumers "an inexpensive way to see what the technology provides today."

 

Featured Image Courtesy of HTC