Smartphone manufacturer HTC has become the latest to pledge support for blockchain technology, following an announcement from the firm in recent days that it intends to launch a new blockchain phone.
The Taiwan-based electronics giant unveiled the plans at the Taipei 101 investment forum late last week, in a keynote speech on decentralisation delivered by HTC Decentralized Chief Officer Phil Chen, according to Taiwan News.
The phone, a second-generation blockchain device, is set to be commercially available by the second half of 2019, which the firm hopes will expand its presence within the global blockchain sector.
Chen said that while blockchain technology was still developing, it was already changing the world, with the promise of “tremendous commercial potential” in the future.
The HTC executive was quoted by the Central News Agency saying that the value of blockchain as analogous to the commercial value of petroleum from the early 20th century, in terms of the impact he expects blockchain to make on a global economic scale.
He added that the core benefit of a blockchain phone was allowing access to data with absolute privacy, which Chen said underlined the value of the technology within the telecommunications sector.
The launch follows HTC’s original blockchain phone, the HTC Exodus, which was launched at the end of 2018. Since then, the firm reports sales have kept pace with expectations, prompting the decision to continue to invest in new blockchain products.
In his speech, Chen also indicated the firm was looking beyond the blockchain phone to other technologies and innovation, including a broader portfolio of digital assets and investment in cryptocurrency applications.
The move follows another recent announcement from HTC that the firm had set aside $50 million in a fund dedicated to developing their blockchain phone products.
HTC is far from alone amongst smartphone manufacturers in exploring innovations around cryptocurrency. Samsung is now bundling some new phones with a crypto-based payments app, with some reports suggesting the firm may look to launch its own crypto token in the near future.
With demand for the latest device fueled by the increasing adoption of cryptocurrencies worldwide, the move looks set to position HTC as a leading manufacturer of blockchain-powered phones.
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