HTC Launches New $300 Blockchain Phone with Bitcoin Full Node Support
During this week’s New York Magical Crypto Conference Taiwanese cell phone maker HTC made a big announcement. HTC is introducing a cheaper version of mobile phone with complete Bitcoin node functions In the media release, the firm asserts the smartphone’s value-oriented variant will be launched at the end of Q3 2019.
Originally announced in April, Exodus 1S will be released in Q3 with an additional SD card to assist its blockchain functionalities. HTC was vying to include node capacities in the Exodus 1, but eventually the firm chose to remove the feature for the device’s first edition–perhaps because of Google’s revised Play Store guidelines that prohibits on-device mining.
The latest phone is a cheaper and much more sophisticated variant of earlier EXODUS 1, the company’s first blockchain phone manufactured in 2018, said Phil Chen, HTC’s Decentralized Chief Officer. As per him, the innovation is to help preserve the Bitcoin network’s credibility as more complete nodes imply a stronger network.
Even though it may seem like a large challenge for a cell phone, he thinks devices can do it very well. Ethereum (ETH) blockchain explorer Etherscan, European search engine Qwant, and non-fungible Ethereum-based ERC-721 tokens will be featured in the smartphone.
“The bitcoin blockchain is about 200 [gigabytes], and it’s growing about 60 gigs per year. And those numbers are reasonable to hold on a smartphone. Imagine the iPod with 256 gigs … of course, the music fan wants to keep the whole music library but the crypto fan wants to keep the whole bitcoin blockchain,” Chen said.
Though perhaps as a blockchain device, the EXODUS 1 was only able to store private keys to safeguard virtual assets of clients but did not have the capacity of the 1s. Other than running the complete Bitcoin node, Chen said the device could also host a light Ethereum node based on its standards even though the firm is not contemplating that right now.
The company has not disclosed a particular worldwide release date, but the smartphone will be made available at $250 to $300. It may only be offered for sale with payment in the form of cryptocurrencies as it happened with EXODUS 1 in 2018, or fiat may be allowed as payment this time, only time will reveal.
Phil Chen, HTC’s Decentralized Chief Officer, informed that he would not disclose sales information about Exodus 1, the S1’s predecessor, but said the firm was “pleased and even enthusiastic about what we’ve seen so far in terms of revenues… and they’re on track with inner objectives.” The post says that the device will carry the complete Bitcoin blockchain and enable a trustless customer experience since “a full node is the only way to use Bitcoin in a fully private way and full nodes are critical to securing the future of Bitcoin.”
Phil Chen commented on the development:
“Full nodes are the most important ingredient in the resilience of the Bitcoin network and we have lowered the barrier to entry for any person to run a node, […] participating in a global bitcoin network that propagates transactions and blocks everywhere.”
Exodus 1S is offered at a reduced price in terms of noticeable changes compared to the earlier phone in a bid to “broaden the scope and implementation of blockchain and crypto technology with a more value-focused product.” HTC hogged limelight when it first declared the phone’s arrival during a keynote presentation at an equity conference hosted in Taipei in April.
Exodus 1S is the second introduction in blockchain-powered mobile phones category. Its initial product, Exodus 1, included a cryptocurrency wallet alongside hardware to enable decentralized apps (dapps). After successfully launching the EXODUS 1s with a fully-functional Bitcoin node, HTC may look at the option of replicating the same concept for other cryptocurrencies.
The firm also published a Software Development Kit for its Zion Vault hardware wallet to all GitHub programmers. Sooner or later the business could open-source the codes behind its social key recovery. The company also aims promote public blockchains in the cryptocurrency environment. The news arises amid enhanced debate over safety issues of using smartphones as wallets for cryptocurrency. Overall, researchers strongly recommended customers to choose a real hardware wallet.