Everyone is a node, your data is a block and everything forms a chain. Yes, it’s complicated. HTC plans to release the Exodus this October, and it will be the world’s first blockchain phone. We know that the project is led by Phil Chen, the genius behind the HTC Vive, and that blockchain means that the phone will have something to do with cryptocurrencies . It’s not a lot of information and can not answer the two most important questions: what exactly is a blockchain phone and how does all this work?
There is a lot of “informed speculation” going on HTC Exodus. HTC is not saying much because they need to surprise us in October, and it’s hard to know exactly what the company means when they say “blockchain phone” and describe their vision around it. But we know what blockchain technology is and how it could be used in a phone.
A blockchain is an encrypted and shared database that is distributed on more than one computer device. This means that every person with access can edit that ledger without waiting for someone else to finish the changes.
There are complicated algorithms to keep duplicate entries based on the actual time they were created or modified, so database updates and each client receive the changes and are always synchronized. A blockchain is considered safe not because the database is encrypted, but because there is no single “master” copy to modify or corrupt – the database blockchain on your computer is considered as valid as the database on any other computer.
With potentially millions of computers hosting the blockchain database, it is also publicly available and verifiable by anyone with the need and means to verify it. Remember, regardless of where you access the blockchain, it has the same data because of the software behind it that reconciles every and every entry every 10 minutes.
This makes a blockchain a great way to host decentralized data for cryptocurrency. Anyone can access the chain and use software as a currency portfolio to spend and manage their alternative currency. Nobody can hack the chain because there are no master copies to be hacked.
As mentioned, the data is reconciled every 10 minutes. Each data change is considered, the duplicate entries are sorted and separated from the actual time of the transaction and each copy on each computer is updated. These changes or transactions are called blocks. The group of computers that host the data are called nodes and form the chain.
The most important thing you need to know when you see someone talking about the blockchain is:
- A blockchain is transparent and data is available to anyone with software that needs access to it.
- There is no master copy and as long as enough computers will host the data, there would never be a computer powerful enough to find every copy and corrupt it.
- Any changes to the data (such as a Bitcoin transaction) are done through a validation system with which apps like a coin coin can interact. Each node in the chain validates each transaction to ensure it is valid.
- A blockchain keeps a record of each transaction (passes to a data point) and each transaction contains information about where it originated.
- This is why blockchain technology is the right way to keep cryptocurrency records. It is decentralized – no person or group can manipulate it – and each node acts as an administrator so that no part of the chain can become “rogue” and ruin everything. But there are other potential uses for a blockchain.
Things like landowner registrations and property titles could use a blockchain, or a complete stock exchange could be built using a blockchain and any broker like a broker would become useless. Any type of database with individual records that must be assigned to a single identity could use blockchain technology.
How will you use the blockchain in a phone?
You can already make your phone act like a node in a chain through digital cryptocurrency portfolios, like the Coinbase app.
But let’s face it: getting into “something like BitCoin or Ethereum is not easy for beginners. HTC could change that dynamic by including a robust wallet in the phone with a friendly user interface that guides you through the process of investing and using digital money for everyday transactions.
The company also mentions “Trusted Hardware” on the Exodus website, so it is possible that there will be an added level of security to keep your identity secure and your digital wallet.
But it seems that HTC has a higher set of goals in mind. We talk about decentralized data for applications and secure storage on device for your personal information instead of using the cloud. Seeing how HTC plans to protect data in a system open to the public, like a blockchain, it will be interesting this is the case.
Depending on what HTC intends to use with blockchain technology, there is also the possibility that the company has found a new and unique marketing angle: HTC is also a set of nodes in any chain and has a unique access to your data shared and can offer a system similar to what Google does, where you are profiled and targeted when it comes to advertising.
One thing is sure, the HTC Exodus will be one of the most interesting phones of 2018. All this is speculation. It is almost certain that HTC Exodus will be a gateway to the use of cryptocurrencies and will include applications and utilities aimed at the user (and possibly unique development options) to connect to large clearing houses like Coinbase.
Past, we’ll just have to wait until October and find out. I’m certainly interested in checking the first blockchain phone, and I’m sure many of us feel the same way.