HTC has been losing money hand over fist for several years, and it’s looking for a new hook. Could cryptocurrency be the answer? That probably seemed like a safe bet when HTC started development of the Exodus 1 blockchain phone, but the crypto market is somewhat less vigorous now. After only accepting crypto payments for the Exodus 1 since its launch last year, HTC has decided to take your filthy fiat money, too.
The Exodus 1 launched in October 2018 for 0.15 Bitcoins or 4.78 Etherium, both of which worked out to around $950. Hopefully, HTC cashed those coins out after completing sales because crypto prices have been falling like a rock. The current value of the Bitcoin from each sale in October would be about $568, and the Etherium would be around $642. The company has ratcheted down the price over time, which currently sits at $699 in crypto (0.18 BTC).
You don’t need to mess with the crypto conversion risks to buy the Exodus 1 anymore, though. Starting now, HTC will take $750 in hard currency for the blockchain phone. As a phone, the Exodus 1 is typical for a 2018 flagship. There’s a Snapdragon 845, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. It has a 6-inch 1440p LCD on the front, and the back is transparent glass. It’s basically a U12+, right down to the pressure-sensitive buttons.
What sets this phone apart is the integrated secure enclave for storing your cryptocurrency. It’s separate from the operating system, which makes it more secure than a wallet that lives online. The enclave works with a custom wallet called Zion, which stores various cryptos like Bitcoin, Ether, and Litecoin.
Along with the expanded purchase options, HTC has also announced a partnership with Opera Browser. An upcoming version of Opera will plug into the Zion wallet, making online crypto transactions easier on the Exodus 1.
It makes sense that people who want this phone are heavily into cryptocurrency. So, you’d expect them to have crypto with which to buy it. Why is HTC suddenly accepting real money? It doesn’t bode well for HTC or the current state of the crypto markets. With price fluctuations and transaction fees, HTC might be losing money on each sale before it can convert to the legal tender it needs to pay the bills. There just isn’t much you can buy with cryptocurrency right now other than blockchain phones.
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