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Brief Updated: 30 Jul 2018

New Smartphones Set to Make Blockchain Mainstream


Smartphone manufacturers are racing to bring blockchain-driven benefits to consumers. The latest devices are set to make the technology mainstream by using it to boost security, enable easier crypto trading and offer entertainment.

Available to pre-order from Q3 2018 for around $1,000, HTC's Exodus is the first blockchain phone from a major phone manufacturer. The phone's key selling point is its elevated security, as owners are able to secure their data – including blockchain currencies – on the device instead of the cloud, where information is easier to extract or tamper with. Its arrival is well-timed, given the current scrutiny for security and data privacy, as outlined in Safeguarding Security.

In another bid to bring blockchain-powered applications to the masses, the company plans to add the blockchain game CryptoKitties to its devices, starting with the soon-to-be-released (non-blockchain) phone HTC U12 Plus.

"Blockchain will not go mainstream until it's about entertainment. It needs to delight consumers," said Charles Silver, chief executive of US advertising platform Algebraix, at this year's Blockchain Expo. HTC's inclusion of this form of entertainment will not only build anticipation around the Exodus launch, but also promises wider adoption of blockchain in mobile devices generally.

Another game-changing example is blockchain-powered phone Finney from UK start-up Sirin Labs, announced prior to the Exodus. Due for release in November 2018 for around $1,000, it allows owners to manage their cryptocurrency trading and storage more easily, and acts as a tamper-proof e-wallet. This will be a particularly popular feature, given growing interest in trading cryptocurrencies. In the US, 38% of male millennials would rather invest $1,000 in Bitcoin than the stock market (Blockchain Capital, 2017).

Along with blockchain's potential, it's important that companies are aware of its pitfalls, too – see 5 Key Blockchain Questions Answered, Blockchain Summit 2018: The Future of Crypto and Blockchain Expo London 2018.