Home / Technology / HTC's blockchain now pairs with Opera – but that's hardly useful

HTC's blockchain now pairs with Opera – but that's hardly useful

Remember the Exodus 1 – HTC's attempt at building an ultra-secure phone for the blockchain? Well, thanks for working with the browser, the device now seamlessly pairs with the browser and its built-in cryptocurrency wallet, making it a tad bit easier to interact with the decentralized web.

, transact cryptocurrency, and log in to various Ethereum-based services in a matter of a few clicks.

How Opera's cryptocurrency works on the Exodus 1

To take advantage of the new functionality , Exodus 1 users need to update their software ( 1

.57.709.2) which is already rolling out over-the-air. In addition to a few pre-installed blockchain apps, the update also brings a revamped version of Zion – HTC's "hardware-backed" private key management system.

Zion, which So it's a cryptocurrency wallet, it is the system underpinning the Exodus 1. It's a private key storage platform which resides on a "secure enclave" inside the phone – a quarantined chip specifically designed for handling cryptocurrency transactions a secure manner.

So why on earth would you use Opera's wallet if Zion already does that? Well, this is where HTC's new Zion Key Management API comes into play. Zion technology – and Opera is the first one to adopt it.

Instead of filling in your private keys (or mnemonic phrase) manually each time to spend some cryptocurrency, Opera now leverages Zion to let you enter your wallet with just one click. This is possible since Zion already stores your private keys in Exodus 1's secure enclave. The new Zion API lets you reuse them to access other services.

Once logged in, users may make transactions with the Opera wallet; the transfer.

While the new feature is nothing to impress, it's certainly a HTC's dedicated enclave.

But there is one big shortcoming: the new Zion management API is exclusive to the Exodus 1. So unless you are ready to shell out

Smooth user experience aside, experts note that smartphones – even those coming with additional cryptocurrency-specific security measures – are not particularly well-suited for storing large amounts of coins. Instead, you might be getting a specialized hardware wallet solution.

The Exodus 1 is not secure enough to use as a legit cryptocurrency storage solution, and too expensive to justify buying as a smartphone ] In a way, the only good use of the device is to interact with Ethereum-based apps. Unfortunately, there is hardly any activity on these apps in the first place.

In an interview last November, HTC's decentralized chief executive Phil Chen candidly admitted the company does not consider the Exodus 1 a top priority. " I do not think it's the number one or four," he shared.

This rings true to the collaboration between Opera and HTC, too. The new integration is fun to use, but it's from the game-changer the blockchain industry needs to break into the mainstream.

Published February 26, 2019 – 08:00 UTC

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