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Vertu's CEO Describes the Luxury Crypto Phone as the 'Passport to the Web3 World

Amidst the challenges of a crypto bear market, luxury phone manufacturer Vertu boldly introduces the Metavertu II Web3 smartphone, unveiling it at an extravagant event in Hong Kong with a base price of $5,100, reaching $9,300 for the alligator skin finish. This high-end device is strategically designed to appeal to a new class of affluent individuals—the crypto-rich.

The Metavertu II launch event in Hong Kong. Image: Vertu

Vertu's CEO, Gary Chan, expresses the brand's dedication to serving discerning, unconventional, and non-conformist users in the high-net-worth segment, emphasizing their commitment to this niche community. With the emergence of the Web3 industry, marked by the likes of luxury brands such as Gucci and Tiffany making strides in this space, Vertu positions itself at the intersection of opulence and cutting-edge technology.

The Metavertu II positions itself as more than just a luxury accessory. Packed with an array of Web3-friendly features, it includes a built-in crypto wallet and a dedicated decentralized operating system tailored for running decentralized applications (dapps), in addition to the standard Android OS. This strategic move caters to the crypto-rich clientele who aspire to showcase their unique personalities to the world by engaging with NFTs like Bored Apes and CryptoPunks.

The Metavertu II launch event in Hong Kong. Image: Vertu

Vertu, renowned for its use of luxury materials, has shifted its focus to integrate the latest Web3 hardware and software into its offerings. The Metavertu II aims to streamline the crypto user experience with innovative features such as the I-DID identity system. This system links the phone's unique IMEI number to the user's decentralized identifiers (DID), acting as a "passport to the Web3 world." This not only enhances security by preventing duplicate registrations but also empowers users to control their digital identity.

The phone boasts an "unhackable" secure element chip that facilitates functions like signing, hardware-based random number generation, and zero-knowledge proof capabilities. With a segregated hardware design, the phone manages Web3 dapps in a separate operating system, enhancing security measures. The inclusion of a "camouflage" system adds features like one-touch data destruction and end-to-end encrypted communication.

Chan takes pride in the phone's zero-knowledge capabilities, highlighting its embedded hardware ZK that seamlessly integrates with blockchain technology. While acknowledging the current challenges in Web3 user experience, he emphasizes the Metavertu II's forward-looking strategy, aligning with future trends and exploring the essence of Web3—digital sovereignty with decentralization as a means to achieve it.

Moreover, Vertu responds to the evolving landscape by integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into its services. The Metavertu II introduces a "Hybrid AI Butler Service," addressing concerns about extreme centralization in AI tools trained on big data. Chan envisions combining AI with Web3 on a decentralized foundation to create AI applications that not only provide convenience but also restore data sovereignty to individuals, making it impervious to third-party interference.

Vertu CEO Gary Chan. Image: Stephen Graves/Decrypt

In acknowledging that decentralization is an ongoing journey and Web3's user experience is still evolving, Chan introduces the concept of "Web2.5." The Metavertu II employs separate Web2 and Web3 operating systems, creating a bridge between the two and paving the way for a smoother transition.

Despite some features potentially being ahead of current user adoption, Vertu's strategic approach to exploring the essence of Web3 positions the Metavertu II as a pioneering device. It stands at the intersection of luxury, cutting-edge technology, and a commitment to digital sovereignty, aiming to offer users a truly unique and immersive experience within the emerging Web3 landscape.


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