HTC’s blockchain phone is ready for preorder

HTC just announced actual specs for its much-hyped blockchain phone, the Exodus 1, and is letting people sign up for preorders. The phone contains a wallet that’s kept in a secure area “protected from the Android OS,” according to a press release, which can be used to hold the keys to your cryptocurrency and tokens like CryptoKitties.

The phone was first announced back in May as one of the company’s more intriguing projects. Back then, HTC’s chief decentralized officer Phil Chen said each Exodus phone would act as a node to facilitate bitcoin trading among users. He also stated that the phone would allow you to “own your own identity.” But none of that is happening now.

Instead, the Exodus 1 simply has a part of the phone partitioned off for added security.

HTC made a social key recovery mechanism in case your phone is lost, stolen, or you misplace your key information. You’re able to keep the recovery details with a few trustworthy friends, who must then download a key management app. HTC will then use a secret sharing algorithm to send the info to your friends, which you can then piece together if needed. The phone is also being opened up for third-party developers to make their own key apps and wallets.

The Exodus 1 has a 6-inch HD+ display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. There are 16-megapixel dual rear cameras and 8-megapixel dual selfie cameras with a bokeh effect, and it’s capable of recording full 4K video at 60 FPS. The phone will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, has 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 3,500 mAh battery. It runs Android Oreo and is dust- and water-resistant with a rating of IP68.

The phone will sell for 0.15 BTC or 4.78 ETH, which is equivalent to just over $960 USD at the time of writing — and yes, you have to pay for it in cryptocurrency. The expected ship date is December. The phone will be available in 34 countries and regions, including the US, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, the UK, Austria, Norway, and other parts of Europe. Notably, it won’t be available in China, which lines up with what Chen said to me in July, explaining that “China has different rules” and bans cryptocurrency trading.