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Huobi backs blockchain smartphones for cryptocurrency traders, purchasable with Huobi Token

by Celia Wan

September 3, 2019, 12:13PM EDT  ·  2 min read

Quick Take

  • Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi is backing a blockchain project that issues blockchain smartphones 
  • The blockchain project, Whole Network, will have its native token, NODE, listed on Huobi’s IEO platform Huobi Prime 
  • The smartphones are targeting cryptocurrency traders and will have built-in crypto wallets and an app store dedicated to crypto apps and dApps

by Celia Wan

September 3, 2019, 12:13PM EDT  ·  2 min read

Huobi, one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, is backing a blockchain project that manufactures blockchain smartphones which can be purchased with Huobi Token. 

The smartphones are issued by blockchain project Whole Network, which is partly funded by Huobi’s venture capital arm Huobi Capital. The network’s native token, NODE, will also be listed on Huobi Prime, Huobi’s initial exchange offering (IEO) platform, according to a company statement.

With a total planned circulation of 10 billion tokens, NODE will be mainly distributed in a way to encourage adoption of the smartphones. Activities such as downloading mobile apps, watching advertisements, inviting new users, sharing and distributing content will be rewarded with NODE. The remaining tokens will be distributed to private investors, the developer team, and others. The aim of this distribution mechanism is to encourage users to generate behavioral data that will inform marketing campaigns and mobile app design, according to the Whole Network white paper. 

Targeting cryptocurrency traders, these smartphones will also have built-in cryptocurrency wallets and offer optional plug-in cold wallets. Each phone is pre-installed with an app store dedicated to cryptocurrency-related apps and dApps. 

The news came on the heels of China’s state owned-telecommunications conglomerate, China Telecom, issuing a white paper on blockchain smartphones. The telecom giant is looking to turn 5G smartphones into individual digital asset management platforms and integrating these phones with ethereum, per a report

According to Huobi CEO Livio Weng, the push for blockchain smartphones may be driven by the increasing use of mobile devices to manage cryptocurrencies and the deployment of the 5G network in China. China Telecom, along with two other major telecommunications providers in China, are reportedly slated to test the 5G network in a few cities this year.

“As the industry develops and as innovations like 5G become increasingly integrated into our telecommunications systems, we believe more and more crypto communities will want to trade and transact from mobile devices. Given this, the need for devices optimized for blockchain seems clear. This move is our first step to meet those users’ needs,” said Weng.   

The smartphones are priced at $515 and will become available in China on Sept. 11. Huobi allows customers to purchase the phones with Huobi Token and offers discounts to customers on Huobi Prime.