Taiwanese consumer electronics giant HTC has revealed plans to launch a second-generation model of its blockchain-centric smartphone before the end of 2019. The news was announced in a report from English-language Asian IT news source Digitimes on April 29.
According to HTC’s chief decentralized officer Phil Chen, the development is a bid to boost smartphone sales and expand the company’s blockchain ecosystem.
As previously reported, HTC first unveiled plans for its blockchain-focused smartphone, dubbed “Exodus,” in spring 2018, launching the product later that year.
Chen revealed that sales performance for the first-generation Exodus phone had met the company’s expectations, noting that in addition to bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) users, new crypto trading startups had driven demand for the product considerably.
The phone’s second-generation model will reported extend its supported blockchain apps to areas such as browsing, messaging and social media. This will be in addition to the phone’s existing support for cryptocurrency and transaction management, alongside personalized e-wallets.
These new communication blockchain apps will be based on peer-to-peer connections, rather than being routed via cloud or mainframe boards as in the previous generation phone, Chen reportedly added.
Chen referred to the major successes of centralized consumer apps such as taxi service app Uber and accommodation booking site Airbnb as setting a bar for the emerging sector of blockchain and decentralized technologies.
As previously reported, Phil Chen has recently led a new $50 million blockchain-focused venture capital fund, Proof of Capital. The fund has a partnership with HTC in order to allow portfolio firms to work with the company and develop services or products for Exodus and other prospective HTC blockchain initiatives directly.
Earlier this month, blockchain smartphone startup Sirin Labs reportedly laid off a quarter of its workforce, having launched its blockchain smartphone at the end of 2018.