BAT Getting User Boost: Brave Selected as Default Browser for HTC’s New Phone

Brave browser was announced as the default browser for HTC’s new Exodus “blockchain-powered” phone, opening Basic Attention Token (BAT) to a new cohort of potential users.

Brave browser was announced as the default browser for HTC’s new Exodus “blockchain-powered” phone, opening Basic Attention Token (BAT) to a new cohort of potential users.

BAT is a cryptocurrency that commoditizes attention, allowing users to receive compensation for sharing their data and attention-span with advertisers. Currently, the cryptocurrency is only compatible with the Brave browser.

Today, Brendan Eich, the CEO of Brave Software, and the creator of the JavaScript programming language, announced that Brave would be adopted as the default browser for HTC’s new Exodus 1 blockchain-powered phone.

HTC Exodus 1

Based on its specifications, the HTC Exodus 1 seems like an ordinary phone: 6-inch display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset, and running Android 8.1. What makes the phone stand-out, however, is the suite of blockchain and cryptocurrency features built into the phone.

For starters, each Exodus 1 is a node on HTC’s own blockchain network. Along with other integrations, the phone aims to allow users to securely store and trade cryptocurrency. The phone is also geared to support BTC, LTC, ETH, and ERC-721 Ethereum crypto-collectibles through its Zion wallet integration.

Phil Chen, HTC’s ‘chief decentralization officer,’ and the phone’s designer, mentioned that the current iteration of the phone is the “high-end” version meant for beta testing the concept. If successful, the company plans to release a “low-end” version available to the general public.

According to Chen, one of the purposes of the phone is to eventually “target the 1-2 billion unbanked people in the world [and provide them access to financial services].” Moreover, “even the United Nations is interested in that.”

That said, the phone is a “beta” product. Considering the track record of many other blockchain-related products, the first version of the phone may also feature a less-than-ideal user experience.

Based on HTC’s website, the phone retails for approximately $1000 in BTC, ETH, or LTC and will be released sometime this month.

Impact on Brave

As of July, Brave had over 3.1 million active users, with that number steadily growing. Depending on the number of Exodus line phones that are sold in retail, the integration could substantially increase the number of customers who come use the Brave browser. Or, it could fall flat. According to one Taiwanese publication, HTC’s sales in February dipped to a 13-year low, while underperforming against growing Chinese phone brands.

Consequently, more users on Brave mean more users who can use Basic Attention Token. That said, considering the early-state of the new phone, it’s hard to tell whether the integration will have a noticeable impact on BAT adoption in 2019.


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