HTC Aiming to Release a Blockchain Phone With Binance DEX Support

Siamak Masnavi

On Tuesday (November 12), Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC announced that it is planning to release a special edition of its EXODUS "blockchain phone" (aka "cryptophone") that will offer support for Binance DEX and its native coin BNB. 

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 on October 19 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. HTC said that Exodus 1s was the first mobile phone that supported running a Bitcoin full node (with the blockchain data to be stored on a 400GB microSD card that needs to be purchased separately).

HTC Announces EXODUS 1 Binance Edition

According to a report by Coindesk, HTC is planning to offer a new special edition version of HTC EXODUS 1 that will offer support for Binance DEX, Binance's decentralized exchange, integrating "Binance Chain with the device’s native Zion Vault wallet app," thereby enabling the phone's owners to "directly access the Binance DEX using the phone."

HTC's DCO, Phil Chen, said via a press release:

We are partnering with the biggest and most liquid crypto exchange along with the trust minimized principle of empowering users to own their own keys and run their own full bitcoin node.

As for Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (aka "CZ"), he had this to say:

The implications are profound and far-reaching. The most innovative smartphone makers are racing to adopt crypto. We are delighted to support and work with HTC EXODUS to make sure its users can access the Binance chain and DEX to help people access crypto and exchange anywhere.

The report says that EXODUS 1 Binance Edition will sell for $599 and that it will only be available to order via HTC's website.

Featured Image Courtesy of HTC

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Bank-Backed Cryptocurrencies Are a Decade Away, Says Central Banker

Will Heasman

Former vice president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christian Noyer, has affirmed that central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are unlikely to be rolled out for another decade. 

Jumping off the recent uptick in digital asset interest from central banks, as well as Facebook's rocky foray into the industry, Noyer opined that CBDCs are a future potentiality. However, speaking to the Financial Times, the former banker caveated that "hesitations" around CBDCs—arising from privacy concerns and control of fiscal policy—may hinder their launch.

Whether they will enact the projects in the next ten years remains to be seen. I don't think we are close to the departure lounge, but the fact that they want to study it means a lot of work will continue this year.

CBDC Madness

Bank-backed crypto projects seem to be more prevalent than ever. China's implementation of a sovereign cryptocurrency is apparently on track for imminent release—despite multiple flunked deadlines. In fact, it's thought that China's attempt at a CBDC has spurred multiple knee-jerk reactions from other national institutions.    

This appears to be the case for one of the latest—and perhaps most intriguing—CDBC investigations.

Back in January, a central bank collective, comprising of six of the world's top institutions, announced plans to study the benefits of a CBDC.  The collective which incorporates the European Central Bank; the Bank of England; the Bank of Canada; the Bank of Japan; the Sveriges Riksbank; and the Swiss National Bank, and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) aims to assess several criteria, including:

CBDC use cases; economic, functional and technical design choices, including cross-border interoperability; and the sharing of knowledge on emerging technologies.

Image: Unsplash