Appearing at the Web3 Summit in Berlin, Phil Chen, decentralized chief officer at Taiwanese electronics giant HTC, did more than just announce HTC Exodus 1, the first blockchain-based crypto phone.
Chen’s presentation signals how far, wide and deep the world’s top tech minds are delving to cultivate the next big device in personal computing – and rebuild the internet.
He captures the essence of the social movement that’s driving cryptocurrency. It’s people who are determined to live their lives beyond borders and corporate restrictions and centralized controls. And the goals require new forms of money, new types of digital identities, a new internet and new infrastructure.
Chen calls the journey “from Genesis to Exodus” – the evolutionary path HTC has been following ever since 2008 when it released the world’s first commercially produced Android phone, the HTC Dream (aka the T-Mobile G1 in the US).
The HTC Dream, according to Chen, did not live up to its philosophical promise to connect people everywhere around the world.
He believes the new HTC Exodus 1 is different.
— HTC EXODUS (@htcexodus) October 23, 2018
Exodus is available for preorder for 0.15 Bitcoin (BTC) or 4.78 Ethereum (ETH). Pegged to BTC and ETH, the price of the phone, which is currently around $975, will rise and fall with the price of the cryptocurrencies. The phone, which is slated to ship in December, functions as a hardware cryptocurrency wallet, enabling users to secure their digital assets by storing them on the device’s local wallet. It will allow users to hold their own keys and to connect to a key management API to secure all user apps.
“For us at Exodus, the reason why we chose Berlin to launch this phone today was because for several reasons. I think if any city who knows the history of walls, it’s Berlin. The second reason is because, I think, Europe has the most respect in the world for people’s personal data.”
“I think here today with this whole movement that we’re doing with the Exodus and with the Web3 Foundation, we believe we can build more incredible monuments just like Wikipedia, just like Linux, in this decentralized manner.”
“I think a lot of people in this room, that was the reason why we go into technology – is that we thought we could build something that would connect people beyond these borders, beyond these walls. That’s what we did, and it’s interesting to think about this because it’s been 10 years.
This is the first Android phone that HTC launched back in 2008 in September. It’s been 10 years and one month to this day. And that was the dream in which we were building. This phone was called the HTC Dream – the dream of building an open-source phone with open collaboration.
But, as we all know, that was not how the story unfolded… What really happened is corporate sovereigns divided this humanity into a handful of walled gardens. It was the convergence of three very powerful forces. It was the convergence of big data, the convergence of artificial intelligence and the convergence of the cloud. Big cloud data, AI companies together that sort of hi-jacked this open-source movement into owning everybody’s identities, owning everybody’s digital assets and data.”
“And so, again, we’re talking about a world ruled by very, very powerful, centralized data companies.”
The new empire, according to Chen, is comprised of seven companies: Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent.
According to Chen, the genesis of Bitcoin in 2009 became the world’s first protocol for transcending the empire and its internet borders.
“We want to build this decentralized web, this Web3, and rebuild this internet – this crypto internet – one phone at a time.”