By

Aaron Mak Blockchain refers to the decentralized ledger technology that (among other things) underlies cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. The records kept on the ledger are encrypted in order to protect them from tampering or revision, making it possible to keep track of transactions and other data without a centralized authority like a bank.

Computers that participate in the network act as nodes, which each have a log of every transaction and can verify the accuracy of this information. It’s unclear what exactly makes a blockchain phone stand out from a “normal” one.

The Exodus site claims that each blockchain phone will serve as a node, and that “we want to double and triple the number of nodes of Ethereum and Bitcoin.” Jules White, an assistant professor of engineering at Vanderbilt University, said that the upside to a phone that’s already configured to be a node is that it would make it easier for people to enter the cryptocurrency market. “The average person is probably not going to know how to download an application to do something with bitcoin,” he said.

“So if you had a phone that had it built in from the beginning it might allow a lot more participation in these cryptocurrencies.” People can already download cryptocurrency wallets and exchange apps on average, non-blockchain phones, which essentially converts the devices into nodes, but a blockchain phone may have these apps pre-installed. The HTC Exodus may add an extra layer of security for phones serving as nodes.

“The appeal there is not that this is something you can’t do with a regular phone,” says Douglas Schmidt, associate chair of computer science and engineering at Vanderbilt University. “I think they’re trying to do it in a way that has a bit more hardware protection. Read more from slate.com…

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