The Exodus 1 is HTC’s cryptocurrency and blockchain oriented phone. It’s designed as a native blockchain mobile and to work securely with cryptocurrency and decentralized applications (dApps).
Revealed in a recent tweet by co-founder Brendan Eich, who also developed the Firefox Mozilla browser, Brave will be HTC’s default browser.
The HTC Exodus 1 is built with the decentralized promise of blockchain in mind. It, like Brave, hopes to restore the ownership of personal data back to individuals. For cryptocurrency owners, the phone will store private keys in a secure enclave on the phone called Zion.
Though the Brave browser itself is not blockchain-based, Brave does aim to eventually decentralize its Ethereum-based BAT. Eich himself describes the BAT platform as currently “semi-centralized” due to the need to manage how its BAT tokens, used to reward Brave publishers, are distributed. Eich told TNWrecently:
“We will decentralize much of the BAT platform over time, but as our roadmap describes, not all at once and up front. That is neither scalable nor anonymous on today’s main blockchains.”
Challenging the Incumbent Web
What the Brave Browser does do is offer users the facility to block all adverts and cookies, potentially delivering faster search, loading, and navigation. By doing this Brave hopes to take away some of the search market dominated by the likes of Google and Microsoft, which collect massive amounts of user data.
Brave also plans to reward users who opt-in to viewing adverts with BAT tokens, which advertisers must pay, potentially handing back the reward from the monetization of data to the data owner. As of September 2018, Brave had already achieved ten million downloads and four million active users, a growing figure likely to have influenced HTC’s choice.
HTC’s decentralized chief officer Phil Chen, according to CNET reports, said of Brave:
“It is challenging the incumbent web…advertisement-trade-for-attention model that has crippled the internet browsing experience. We’re at a crisis of giving that away for cheap endorphins and surrendering all that power to the big-data monolithic cloud companies that mine that data.”
Neither Brave or HTC have revealed much in the way of details about the partnership. HTC phones are popular but the blockchain-based mobile market is unproven. The partnership will certainly help kudos for Brave and if sales of the Exodus 1 go well, add to Brave’s user base. The new phone is not without competition, SIRIN Labs also unveiled its crypto-native smartphone, the FINNEY, earlier this month.