Taiwanese consumer electronics company HTC has publicly announced an initiative with Binance, the influential international cryptocurrency exchange, to release a special version of the EXODUS 1 smartphone that is compatible with the Binance Chain distributed ledger platform.
HTC has been working on the EXODUS 1, a smartphone with hardware support that integrates a range of blockchain-based features, since at least the middle of 2018. The company also announced in May 2019 that the first generation of the EXODUS 1 would also allow users to run their own nodes on the Bitcoin blockchain. In October 2019, the device was released with that capability, plus functionality as a mobile hardware wallet for cryptocurrency. It was listed for purchase only through cryptocurrency.
Although it wasn’t the first “cryptophone,” (the Finney phone, released by Sirin Labs, came out in November 2019) the EXODUS represented a major rollout by a company with direct experience in shipping devices to mass market.
Now, as announced by HTC and Binance on November 12, 2019, the EXODUS 1 is getting a special edition release — albeit not one with a significant enough improvement of services to be considered the “EXODUS 2.” With this new phone apparently being dubbed the “EXODUS 1, Binance Edition,” the main draw to this upgrade seems to be native support for the blockchain platform Binance Chain. Although the phone will still be able to run nodes on the Bitcoin blockchain, it will not be enabled to run actual Binance Chain nodes.
With Binance first teasing the applications of Binance Chain in December 2018, the platform was formally launched the next year. Announcing that many features, such as a decentralized exchange services, were to be powered using this distributed ledger platform, Binance has been working to improve incentives and user experience ever since.
The joint announcement from the two companies regarding this new phone did not include a specific release date, only claiming that it would be open to consumer access “very soon.” The Binance Edition of the EXODUS 1 will cost several hundred dollars more than the previously released version.
Although Binance’s decentralized exchange is one of the most sophisticated apps available on its blockchain, further upgrades to the system are in the works that could, in turn, grant greater appeal and usability to this new phone.
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