back to article Dudes. Blockchain. In a phone. It's gonna smash the 'commoditization of humanity' or something

So it wasn't a joke. HTC today vowed to launch its "Blockchain Phone", which it calls an "agent of decentralization". HTC confirmed overnight that the Exodus smartphone will ship in its third quarter – meaning some time before the end of September – without releasing specifications. Or even what advantages it promises for the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blockchain. AI. Cloud. Cures Cancer!

    There, have I helped boost the Registers share price/click through/relevance now?

    I thought I'd take the hit in the comments section, to avoid The Reg from having to float their own ideas. Should we all post these nonsense buzzwords in our posts, it will help keep the site legitimate for now. Once the money stops coming in though, I guess even this site will be forced to use the spam of cloud hosted solid state server based articles to generate revenue... oh.

    1. Spoonsinger

      Re: Blockchain. AI. Cloud. Cures Cancer!

      You missed Devops

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Blockchain. AI. Cloud. Cures Cancer!

      I pity HTC's developers. They've had to implement some requirements which are nothing more than a collection of bullshit bingo words.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Blockchain. AI. Cloud. Cures Cancer!

        its more ludicrous than a BOFH installment. In fact didnt we already get a blockchain episode - almost identical to this story?

        (Apart from Simon told the boss the get F***ked and not be so stupid , nobody seems to have done that at HTC)

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "All in all, Chen and HTC have set a very high bar for Strategy Boutique entries – it is hard to imagine this combination being surpassed."

    Shouldn't that be Boutique Strategy? BS for short?


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nope, it's a Strategy Boutique where the emperor can obtain his new apparel.

  3. Dr Who

    Like many Reg readers I've been around a while and have seen my fair share of hype cycles, but the one surrounding blockchain is the biggest and the worst yet. Never in the field of tech has so much bollocks been spouted by so many. I have it on good authority that things ending in gasm are supposed to get smaller with time, but hypegasms just seem to get bigger and bigger.

    PS Mildly bitter as I seem to have managed to miss my ride on the gravy train of pretty much every single tech hype cycle.

    1. Nick Kew

      Tosh. You can't've been paying attention 20 years ago when a shiny new trainspotters' or philatelists' .com website was going to make millions.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Nick Kew

        The original web hypegasm had supposed valuations about a hundred times lower than the latest ones. There's even hyperinflation of hyperinflation. At this rate, if there's one every twenty years or so, the 2100 one will need wheelbarrows full of ones and zeroes just to write down the supposed market caps.

    2. DavCrav

      " I have it on good authority that things ending in gasm are supposed to get smaller with time"

      You're holding it wrong.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's nothing, for those that haven't seen it I present the Hdac advert on itv during the world cup in all it's complete and utter b*llocks glory.

    1. Craigie

      You mean your washing machine doesn't have 'the blockchain solution'?

    2. DavCrav

      "That's nothing, for those that haven't seen it I present the Hdac advert on itv during the world cup in all it's complete and utter b*llocks glory."

      I've now seen it several times and still haven't worked out what exactly it is supposed to be about. In this brave new world do your home appliances have access to your bank account and pay for their own energy use on an hourly basis using Bitcoin? This can't possibly go wrong.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Techradar didn't understand it either, so they asked Hdac who didn't answer.

      2. steviebuk Silver badge

        Maybe it's like Magic Leap.

      3. David Hicklin Bronze badge

        Sounds like IoT meets blockchain, now what could possibly go wrong there ??

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    There's something to be said for this decentralisation stuff. If I rely on credit cards to finance transactions from a centralised bank they only work if everything in the entire payment chain doesn't have a TITSUP - card network, bank, everything. The possibility of that ideal state of affairs these days seems to be getting more remote. So, my lords, ladies and gentlemen I present my own, novel solution: Compensation Asymmetrically Serverless Hosted.

  6. Ben1892

    Hold on a second, hasn't Pied Piper already launched their decentralised internet?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Along with a good analysis of the problems of anonymous and decentralised infrastructure: you won't know it's been subverted until it's too late.

  7. Chris G

    "Chen's LinkedIn profile reveals he has a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree in postmodern philosophy from Fuller Theological Seminary."

    Sooo, he's full of crap then?

    Calling anything post modern, immediately demonstrates the fact that it is pretentious rubbish.

    1. Aladdin Sane

      Anybody who has an MDiv is full of shit. A VC with one is a hypocrite that's full of shit. Unless, of course, they've since become apostates.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Anybody who has an MDiv is full of shit

        Of course, especially if the granting body is a "seminary".

        There are some real universities that have real theological departments that award real degrees in how people delude themselves*, but their products don't tend to become VCs because they went into it to understand things like moral imperatives, and that is something VCs can't afford to have.

        *P D James mentions in one of her books that a degree in theology is potentially useful to a detective. Certainly reading some of the more convoluted attempts at self-deception is a good background for understanding some program libraries.

    2. Brian Miller

      Like a teenage libertarian having his first few bottles of Thunderbird...

      This phrase didn't give anything away, then?

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Sounds like Gavin Belson's spiritual advisor.

  8. Efer Brick


    Something Dynorod should get into?

  9. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

    Wild phone claims --

    -- especially that tagline -- only serve to remind me of xkcd:

  10. Bavaria Blu

    rename TheRegister TheBlockChainRegister

    The value will rise 289% like it did for for "Long Island Iced Tea Corp." after renaming to "Long Blockchain Corp."

    1. GrapeBunch

      Re: rename TheRegister TheBlockChainRegister

      We have a blockchain in the washing machine. Weighs near a ton (that's tonelada if you're of the other persuasion). Hoping there'll be a practical blockchain for bicycles soon.

  11. Anonymous South African Coward Bronze badge

    Obligatory Dilbert

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
  12. theExecutive

    First Coin Suported ADA (Cardano)

    Which is written in Haskell, like speaking Georgian (East Europe) is that way so few understand what a con it is.

    So basically a phone with hackable API bridges, you get some idiots with Social Science and Divinity Degrees..

    1. Bobthekillerfish

      Re: First Coin Suported ADA (Cardano)

      Is this going to be running on Cardano for its blockchain? Didn't see that reported anywhere else?

  13. Lusty
    Paris Hilton

    I can't tell if this is marketing for a phone or a series of Silicon Valley. This was the plot last series and they seem to be trying to make it into a product?

  14. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

    FTFA: "l...likely to cost around £1,000..."

    I probably won't be buying one, then. I get the wife's hand-me-down iPhones. I'm rockin' a 5S now!

    I can make calls, send SMS, even run a few apps. Frankly, I don't have the patience to wait for the damn thing to bring up a web page, so I don't do too much browsing with it. It's worth what I paid for it ($75 - had to have the battery replaced).

    / why, yes, I am a cheap old guy, why do you ask?

    1. tfewster

      "We want to get into the premium phone band. Do we make a $1000 phone, or just turn this over to Marketing?"

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      I get the wife's hand-me-down iPhones.

      I hate the iPhone, personally, but after a few rounds of buying unused overstock previous-generation grey-market phones, in the hope they might last a few years each, I've switched to buying used Android phones. New or used, they're all crap, as far as I can tell, so why pay any significant amount of money?

      Currently I have a Galaxy S6, which is shit (Samsung beats Lenovo and ASUS at making Android worse), but it was cheap and basically works.

      I'd just go back to feature phones but my family insist on texting rather than calling, and I hate T9, so I need something with some sort of qwerty keyboard. I'd like a physical one but cheap phones with physical qwerty keyboards have become hard to find.

  15. Man in a Can


    I admit I'm not a tech expert but this sounds like utter bollocks.

    1. jonathan keith

      Re: What?

      I am a tech expert and having 'run the tech numbers' can happily confirm that, from a tech perspective, your "utter bollocks" hypothesis is entirely correct.

  16. Roger Kynaston


    My bullshitometer just exploded!

  17. GnuTzu


    Are they intending to patent and monopolize this so-called liberation of humanity?

  18. A. Coatsworth Silver badge

    *Reads the title*

    Hopes go thorugh the roof: "Is Steve Bong back at El Reg??"

    *Reads actual article*

    Damn, Reality is much, much stupider than fiction

  19. ma1010

    You're Lord Bong, and I claim my 5 quid!

    I think we now know where Steve Bong wound up after he left the U.K., now living under the assumed name Phil Chen.

    Will the new phones feature "Thinkfluence Design," also?

  20. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Of all places to start

    Social media, email, app hosting, and file hosting need to be decentralized. Those centralized services are advertising and personal information siphons that no longer have any technical reason to exist. Money transfers need a bit more refinement.

    1. Orv Silver badge

      Re: Of all places to start

      Email has, if anything, become more centralized. There are a couple reasons for this:

      1. Spam. ISPs have found it necessary to block direct SMTP from their users to limit spam, so everything has to go through a central smarthost anyway. Filtering *incoming* spam is also a difficult and time-consuming job and one of the reasons I stopped running my own private mail server.

      2. Convenience. People want to be able to access their mail from their desktop, their laptop, and their phone. That requires some kind of central repository. No one particularly wants to go back to the old days when you POP'd your mail down to your desktop machine, and that was it, it was trapped there.

      There are already decentralized file-sharing services, but uptake has been slow. Not a lot of people are eager to share their disk space with others, especially when you never know if someone's going to upload kiddie porn and get you arrested.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    helping to combat the commoditization of humanity

    I wish they blockchained themselves to a chunk of concrete and made a leap of faith, preferably over a Baikonur launchpad, or Mariana trench, I bet they'd make a splash. Preferably everybody from the level of mid-management up (the level where humanity ends). Including the AI, of course. Yes, Mark Z, you too sir...

  22. Orv Silver badge

    Rub some bacon blockchain on it.

  23. Paul Ellis

    Phil Chen?

    I thought that was Rod Stewart's bass player. Met him once. Sterling chap.

  24. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    Smell that?


  25. jimbo60

    So if I drop the thing and it shatters...

    ...then I've lost all my bitcoin and my ID?

  26. d3rrial

    Seize the means of bitcoin production, comrades!

  27. BumPuddl3

    Am I the only one who thought this sounded cool?

  28. NeilPost Silver badge

    Marketing Viagra

    Sounds like someone in the marketing dept has cut some Viagra into their Coke, and blown their load.

    What a load of old meaningless, soundbite claptrap bollocks.

  29. steviebuk Silver badge

    Quite an interesting vid on explaining Blockchain

    As I didn't know what it was

    Mark Russinovich from Sysinternals now of Azure CTO fame explaining it.

    1. GrapeBunch

      Re: Quite an interesting vid on explaining Blockchain

      Thumbs up. In the first minute I learned how to pronounce Azure (the thing he's in charge of). Accent on the first syllable, as in English, but the 'u' deprecated almost to nothingness. Every pronunciation has its scope. You say Honus Wagner the baseball star differently from Richard Wagner the composer.

      Looking forward to the ruthless powers of logic and exposition that made Process Explorer a good piece of software.

  30. Mike Scott 1

    I've tried...

    I've tried to understand this thing and work out it's value, but I've failed.

    Maybe it's me...

  31. A.A.Hamilton
    IT Angle

    Dudes. Blockchain.

    Forgive me, I'm laowai so I speak English only. I know, but don't much care, what a Blockchain is. But what in Ada's name is a 'Dude'? It looks like a typo: should it not be 'Dud' ? If not, how is it pronounced? 'Dudee' ? It's used here in The Register, so it must be an IT term of some sort - with an obscure origin, like 'byte', perhaps. Somebody explain why I should understand and use this word in my work.

    1. Aladdin Sane

      Re: Dudes. Blockchain.

      Google* is a thing.

      *Other search engines are available.

  32. sgriff35

    Looking at their exec members on the website, lots of "was involved in this before iPhone came long." Or "was involved in the early phase of this..." Lots of things many of us have never heard of before or since. Is that really a good thing to advertise about the heads of the company? "I set this up until something better came along and then my project disappeared" is how a lot of it should be worded. I know you have to fail before you can succeed, maybe that's the angle they're going for.

  33. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    "Chen's LinkedIn profile reveals he has a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree in postmodern philosophy from Fuller Theological Seminary."

    Is it April 1st already?

  34. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    I get that a blockchain can be reliable technology in the case of something like Bitcoin.

    But if we have 1 million blockchains for various trivial purposes, wouldn't that make them just as unreliable as any other technology? Who is going to verify it all and pronounce authenticity?

    I admit to little knowledge in the area, so don't hesitate to put me right.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      "Blockchain" is just a (misleading) name for a Merkle tree with some additional unicorn feathers tacked on. The point of Merkle trees is that interested parties can verify membership in the tree, as long as they've already verified the appropriate subset of the parent tree.

      As long as there's an interested party with the necessary state, the Merkle tree remains verifiable. The number of Merkle trees in existence doesn't change that fact.

      On the other hand, the Bitcoin model of recruiting verifiers for its blockchain only scales so far. That's why we see a lot of copycat cryptocurrencies vanish into obscurity, and why Bitcoin transactions can take a long time to complete.

      In short, the economics for blockchain work just like the economics for anything else. If there's a reward for verification, then someone will perform that labor. The reward may be something like "enables us to perform a business function at a lower cost than currently-feasible alternatives" - it doesn't have to be "a chance of obtaining some digital good I can sell"

      1. Alter Hase

        Merkle Tree

        Thanks for the reference to a Merkle Tree -- it helped me understand what a blockchain represents.

        My fundamental questiion regarding blockchains is "when does the cost of calculating the hash for the latest transaction in blockchain become prohibitive?"

        Somehow, labeling something as blockchain-related reminds me of putting ".com" on something a few years ago....

        (And has anyone note that The Register's spellchecker doesn't recognize "blockchain"? Is The Regster .trying to tell us something?)

        1. Orv Silver badge

          Re: Merkle Tree

          Short answer: It depends on the hash function.

          Longer answer: In Bitcoin reversing a difficult hash is used as a form of proof-of-effort for distributing new coins. That's only one way to do it, although it's the easiest one to conceptualize because it involves real-world inputs with value (power and time.) If the goal is not to create digital items that are supposed to be a store of value, there doesn't necessarily have to be a high level of effort involved.

          That said, yeah, a lot of stuff currently has "blockchain" tacked on it that either isn't using blockchain at all, or is using it as an inferior substitute for MySQL or MongoDB.

      2. GrapeBunch

        "Blockchain" is just a (misleading) name for a Merkle tree with some additional unicorn feathers tacked on.

        Yabbt if Angela had named it Holzmachtfrei, it wouldn't have sold so well.

  35. 89724102172714582892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

    Copy like madmen while you can!

    Infinite copies of Digital Content may soon become a thing of the past.

  36. Anonymous South African Coward Bronze badge

    Blockchain = Bollockschain :)

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We understand the potential of digital scarcity and uniqueness. With Exodus, HTC aims to be a general blockchain asset marketplace," said Chen. "We believe there is a paradigm shift and the pendulum is swinging back to ownership and the value of content."

    What buzzword, marketing magic is this? ffs

    Blockchain - the new Monorail

  38. AK565

    Nice to know the reason I understood none of this is the fact that it made no sense, not my lack of tech background.

  39. GIRZiM


    So, let me get this straight: if I buy into these new blockchain technology thingamajigbobs then, instead of setting up individual standing orders/direct debits to automatically pay for services from my centrally banked funds, I'll be able to set up individual gadgets to automatically pay for services from my centrally walletted funds?

    And I'll get a free kittiecat too?

    Wow! That's what I call innovative! Count me in!

  40. tentimes

    Blockchain: Expensive and SLOW

    I have to buy and move about Bitcoin every month or so. It is a real hassle. The "blockchain" is shit for currency. It costs far too much per transaction and is far to slow (about 1 hour to get 6 confirms?!!).

    How is this thing supposed to cope as it gets bigger?

  41. CPU

    Will BS for cash

    Nothing to see here, no really, nothing... please gives us money anyway!

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