On Saturday HTC launched a wallet-friendly version of its blockchain smartphone, versioned the Exodus 1s. The new phone comes in at a little under $250 (€219) and customers can buy it either with fiat or crypto. Its real selling point? Run your own full bitcoin node on the go.
The Taiwanese company launched big brother a year ago and initially tried to entice blockchain fans by pricing it in Bitcoin. It subsequently, however, priced it in dollars due to the volatile exchange rate of crypto assets.
In 2018 the Exodus 1 arrived with a $700 price tag comparable to the low end of Apple’s latest flagship device, the iPhone 11.
This release, however, is likely targeting a younger audience looking for a more affordable phone as consumers tighten their belts.
Decentralization on the Go: Running a Full Bitcoin Node
The Exodus 1s allows users to run a fully portable Bitcoin node. The Bitcoin blockchain is already fairly decentralized but pundits will tell you that verifying your own transactions is a major step towards real decentralization and maximum security.
CNBC spoke with HTC’s Phil Chen who echoed this sentiment and explained how their integrated wallets would:
“calculate the user’s balance and ensure that future transactions are verified, further ensuring that the balance is actually owned by the spender.”
Chen who titles himself as the company’s Decentralized Chief Officer is tasked with revitalizing the HTC brand. While Apple suppresses cryptocurrency adoption, Samsung is cleverly embracing Bitcoin.
Asian manufacturers, in particular, are taking the lead in the crypto race and HTC will have to carve out its own niche as the competition heats up.
An Exciting Prospect But Still Some Limitations
Having your own ledger verification system on-tap is certainly convenient, however, you still need to interact with it smartly. According to the latest statistic, the Bitcoin blockchain is approaching 250 GB in size.
That means you’ll need to purchase a microSD card with at least 400 GB if you plan to take the Exodus 1s route. Unless you have a very generous provider plan you’ll probably also want to stick to WiFi when updating your node.
In addition, HTC recommends connecting to a reliable power source when syncing so you’ll need to keep these limitations in mind.
The Exodus 1s will be hitting European shores first along with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Taiwan. Customers in the US and elsewhere will have to wait a little bit longer.
This article was edited by Samburaj Das.