HTC is making a big bet to regain market share for its phones. That bet is clearly on the table with the launch of its blockchain-focused phone. You can only buy it with Bitcoin or Ether; which represents its intended audience.
HTC’s Exodus 1 comes with a secluded area kept separate from the Android operating system it runs on to keep a customer’s cryptocurrency safe.
The blockchain-based phone is part of HTC’s shifting strategy regarding smartphones, which will prioritize software and intellectual property.
It is available for pre-order at a price of 0.15 bitcoins or 4.78 ether tokens, which translates to about $960, and is expected to be shipped by December.
In blockchains, tokens – or protocol defined cryptocurrencies, are used to incentivize the ‘players’ to act in a mutually beneficial way. The assumption is that the underlying objective for actors, such as miners, in a blockchain network is to maximize their profit, which equals their revenues minus their costs. The two primary methods of consensus methods currently used for most major cryptocurrencies is Proof of Work and Proof of Stake
Earlier this week, at the Web3 Summit in Berlin, Parity Technologies founder, Gavin Wood, demonstrated launching a blockchain in about 15 minutes. Up to now, this has required days and weeks to achieve.
Parity describes itself as “a core blockchain infrastructure company. We’re creating an open source creative commons that will enable people to create better institutions through technology.”
The software platform used, Parity’s Substrate 1.0-beta, is anticipated to be available in November 2018.
Substrate is the foundation for Polkadot, which is a standalone blockchain framework which will allow developers to build advanced blockchains, customized for any project. This is intended to dramatically accelerate the development of blockchain technologies.
Gavin Wood is described on the Parity website as “originating blockchain technology as Co-Founder and CTO of Ethereum. He invented fundamental components of the blockchain industry, including Solidity, Proof-of-Authority consensus, and Whisper. At Parity, Gavin currently leads innovation on Substrate and Polkadot. He coined the term Web 3.0 in 2014 and serves as President of Web3 Foundation.”
Founded in 2013 and headquartered in London, CoinTelegraph is a news site covering cryptocurrencies, blockchain and decentralized applications.
CoinTelegraph states that it has team members in San Francisco, New York, Memphis, Ontario, London, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Riga (Latvia).
CoinTelegraph describes itself as “High-tech finance, Bitcoin news, analysis and review. Cointelegraph is a completely independent publication covering cryptocurrency, the blockchain, decentralized applications, the internet of finance and the next gen web. We offer the latest news, prices, breakthroughs and analysis with emphasis on expert opinion and commentary from the digital currency community.”
At 79 pages in length, it covers some ground in attempting to put order into the cryptocurrency and blockchain universe.
As noted in the introduction:
The purpose of this taxonomy is to provide an independent classification of cryptoassets, based on the depth, breadth and scope of our global data sets, while adhering to our rigorous data standards to ensure data integrity and accuracy. The taxonomy offers a framework to help retail and institutional investors, regulators and the industry as a whole gain a holistic understanding of the cryptoasset landscape.
The report primarily presents its summary of classifications, including what it refers to as “CryptoCompare archetypes.” These represent what they deem to be “the most natural grouping of cryptoassets at this moment in time.”
Their first order of summary archetype classification is “Fungibles” and “Non-Fungibles.”
Additionally, the report uses four other classification categories:
UK Standard Industry Classification
Rationale to Possess
Economic Value Drivers
The report is valuable to anyone attempting to break the landscape down into an organized framework.
Although there is much useful information, one point that caught my attention was that they could only classify 16 percent of cryptoassets as close to a truly trustless, decentralized network. For those with philosophical aspirations in favor of blockchain resolving what the internet never was, this may be discouraging.
The International News Media Association (INMA) hosted a webinar this past week (Oct 17, 2018) titled, “Blockchain: Enabling Next Generation Media Services.”
The webinar was presented by Stefan Farestam, Co-Founder, Carechain, Sweden.
INMA editor, Shelley Seale, provided an article about the webinar.
Farestam notes, “What the internet enabled was for information to be shared with other parties. But what blockchain enables is distribution of transactions among multiple parties without a central intermediary.”
Blockchain has the potential to disrupt all parts of the media value chain through:
Digital Rights Management
Blockchain-enabled identity solutions could benefit the following:
Battle fake news
Re-establish trust in the authenticity of comment fields
Create entirely new business areas for media actors
There are several reasons to keep data on a blockchain, Farestam shared:
Daniel Sieberg speaks about blockchain, cryptocurrency, trust and more specifically, what blockchain is good for when it comes to journalism.
In this talk he highlights three points:
Governance: Putting value, such as a vote, or a token, in the hands of individuals, as opposed to centralized entities.
Storage: Once a story is published on blockchain, it’s permanently available and distributed on many computers in the world. Trying to change or hide that story would be like trying to recall all of the issues of a newspaper after it has been distributed. In other words, it’s immutable and transparent.
Licensing: Blockchain is like fingerprinted digital assets. It helps content creators get paid for their own work into the future since the source of the creator is indisputably known.
Data collection of internet users has been an issue since the dawn of the world wide web. But in recent years a larger percent of the public is becoming more sensitive about media and tech companies aggregating their user data. As a result, more users having been opting out.
Europe’s new data privacy law has established the continent as a global leader re issues surrounding data privacy. (The law requires companies to inform users what data is being collected, and it gives consumers the right to access stored data and even correct information that turns out to be inaccurate.)
Blockchain offers a different solution. A way consumers can choose what to share and when to share it, rather than handing everything over to corporations and hoping it isn’t misused or lost.