Technology

Meet the World’s First Blockchain-Powered Smartphone, BOB, at CES 2020

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As the world teeters around cyber threats in this digital age, more and more users online, across all demographics and generations, feel more vulnerable or have experienced data breaches and attacks on their privacy. According to a study, 8 out of 10 Internet users globally don’t even feel they have control over the data which they have shared online.

While several steps have been taken to help users worldwide feel more secure online, from tighter regulation imposed onto Internet companies to the implementation of more cutting edge encryption and cybersecurity software, there doesn’t seem to be a solution that can help online users to regain data ownership or feel as secure as they were before the dawn of the Internet, until now.

On the first CES (Consumer Electronics Show) event that is taking place in this new decade, the world is set to witness the unveiling of the world’s first blockchain-powered smartphone: Blok On Blok. It has been recognized as a CES 2020 Innovation Award Honoree in the CES 2020 Innovation Awards.

Blok On Blok, or BOB, is Singapore-based blockchain startup Pundi X’s flagship smartphone product which was first introduced as the XPhone at the now historic Bali Blockchain Summit back in October 2018. During this summit, Pundi X demoed the world’s first ever phone call made over the blockchain.

To ensure the utmost privacy of its users, Pundi X created a special operating system for BOB, called f(x) or Function X OS. This OS empowers BOB users to access the Function X ecosystem, thus every call, text, or action made online, either through a browser or an app is decentralized. Each BOB functions as a node and any action that takes place within the blockchain mode of f(x) OS does not require a centralized service provider or carrier. Hence, the more BOBs that have been deployed in the world would mean a stronger decentralized Function X ecosystem.

“If there’s anything the last decade has proven, it’s that users now need to become extra careful on what they share online and try to secure all that’s left of their privacy and their lives. But they wouldn’t have to be afraid anymore with BOB as it allows users to reclaim their privacy,” Pundi X CEO & Co-founder, Zac Cheah said.

“We believe, the data you have should be yours, and yours alone,” added David Ben Kay, President of Function X Foundation and Chief Legal Officer of Pundi X. “To push for this initiative, we’ve set up the Function X Foundation, a nonprofit, independent organization that supports the growth of the Function X Ecosystem and facilitates the usage of blockchain technology for good.”

F(X) to Android 9 Pie to F(X)

Since not everyone is ready to go off the grid completely just yet, BOB is developed with a function that allows users to switch between blockchain mode and traditional mode, the latter of which is made possible by Android 9 Pie OS. In the blockchain mode, users are assured that all calls, text messages and actions made are secure and private as they don’t go through any centralized service provider. And all these are made possible by Function X.

“We are empowering the user and bringing back the control they once owned over their data.” Cheah said.

Bringing Retro Back

Aside from its homage to the very first promise of the Internet—data ownership and decentralized data transmission online— BOB has also taken inspiration from iconic 80s and 90s sci-fi films and incorporate into its design to create a retro-futuristic look. Each BOB package comes with a MOD assembly kit that includes the following core components: motherboards, display screens, cameras, audio speakers, buttons, and other related accessories. Once fully assembled, the BOB looks like every tech junkie’s phone in the next decade—functionally designed with a futuristic sci-fi feel. Think of BOB as the phone that perhaps would have been fitting for the Blade Runner 2049 or Back to the Future movies. BOB owners can choose to customize the look by 3D printing the different parts of the BOB phone.

As part of the upcoming plans, Function X Foundation will invite designers worldwide to submit their own iterations of the BOB phone, which could then be integrated into the official MOD packages. By the end of this process, there could be around 5 to 10 official MOD designs for BOB. What we envision is a phone that empowers the individual and the user from data privacy to how it looks like.

Pre-order on Indiegogo on January 7

BOB is set to be up for pre-order on Indiegogo on January 7 at 9am PST with early bird discounts. Its retail price is at USD 599. The latest BOB prototype will be exhibited at the CES 2020 at Sands, Hall G - 52501 in Eureka Park in Las Vegas, Nevada.

About Function X Foundation

Function X Foundation is a nonprofit, independent organization that supports the growth of the Function X Ecosystem, a next-generation internet service framework, built entirely on and for the blockchain. It is a completely new ecosystem providing a novel service framework by improving the existing internet and blockchain architectures, combining the benefits of both and using the most commonly used technical solutions.

The foundation is in the process of being set up to manage the usage of the Ecosystem Genesis Fund, which aims to motivate, encourage and facilitate service providers to join and get rooted into the f(x) ecosystem.

For more information about Function X, visit https://www.functionx.io/#/.

About Pundi X

Pundi X is a leading developer of blockchain-powered devices, including the world’s first blockchain-based point-of-sale solution, the XPOS, which enables merchants and consumers to do transactions on the blockchain in physical stores.

The XPOS has been shipped to over 25 countries including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Canada, Korea, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, Uganda, the USA, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, and more; 100,000 devices are being targeted for rollout to the global retail market by 2021. The XWallet app from Pundi X has crossed the 700,000 registered user mark as of today.

Pundi X is also the creator of the world’s first fully-functional blockchain phone, Blok On Blok (BOB for short) powered by the Function X decentralized protocol that is designed to empower users to reclaim their data privacy.

The company is headquartered in Singapore. Its international presence includes offices in Cyprus, Jakarta, São Paulo, Seoul, Shenzhen, Taipei, and Tokyo.

Listed as one of the top 50 innovative fintech startups in 2018 by KPMG and H2 ventures and recognized as a Cool Blockchain Vendors by Gartner, the company is also a member of the Singapore Fintech Association, Fintech Association of Hong Kong, and ACCESS. It is also a founding member of Asosiasi Blockchain Indonesia.

For more information, please visit https://www.pundix.com.

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