HTC is about to unveil a flagship phone that nobody will want to buy, the U12 handset the company teased using iPhone 6 parts not too long ago. But it turns out that, on its road to what appears to be inevitable doom, HTC is trying one more thing that nobody else has: The world’s first native blockchain phone. What’s even stranger about the HTC Exodus is that the phone did not get any teasers or leaks. Instead, HTC’s Phil Chen quietly dropped the news on Medium.

HTC has been struggling for many moons now, when it comes to selling phones, and many of us thought the mobile division will soon disappear given that Google already bought most of it.

But we’re not quite there yet. And, once again, the phone maker is first at something. HTC made the first Android smartphone in the world and the first Google Nexus handset soon after that. It also created the first Facebook phone in the world, and the company had not one, but two different 4G-ready phones when 4G LTE and Wi-Max technologies debuted a few years ago. It also introduced a dual-lens camera long before it was actually cool to do it. And then it was tapped to make the first Pixel phones in the world.

So in a way, we should not be surprised to see the HTC Exodus arrive out of the blue, a first device of its kind.

Chen said on Medium that he’s returning to HTC to focus on blockchain and cryptocurrencies:

The HTC Exodus is the first native blockchain phone dedicated to bringing end consumers the best decentralized application (DApp) experiences, including a built-in secure hardware enclave, and helping underlying protocols expand their base of dedicated nodes, thus expanding the total blockchain ecosystem.

The Exodus will support various blockchain technologies, including Bitcoin, Lightning Networks, Ethereum, Dfinity, and others.

What’s interesting about the initiative is that Chen wants to seemingly reinvent the mobile experience:

I want to see a world where the end consumers can truly own their data (browsing history, identity, assets, wallets, emails, messaging, etc) without the need for central authorities. There is a lot of work ahead of us, but I believe the mobile hardware layer can contribute significantly to our new decentralized world.

In other words, this device isn’t running Android.

That’s pretty much all we know about the Exodus, for the time being, so we’ll have to wait for HTC to announce more details about this iPhone and Android competitor in the future.

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