Taiwanese manufacturer of electronics HTC has released its new blockchain phone, the Exodus 1s, which allows users to join the network of bitcoin.
Unveiling the app at the Lightning Conference in Berlin on Saturday, the company claimed the new product was the first smartphone to be able to run a complete bitcoin node, enabling transactions and blocks to be propagated everywhere.
Phil Chen, chief decentralised officer at HTC, said in a statement: “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.”
The new smartphone is released at a price of € 219 ($244), about a third of its predecessor’s value, the Exodus 1. HTC will use the Lightening payment network to sell the new edition at the Berlin meeting.
The system allows users to install a 400+GB SD card to extend their memory, allowing them to cope with the increasing storage space needed to store the complete Bitcoin ledger. According to Blockchain, the current size of the complete ledger closes at 250 GB.
The company has suggested that users connect to WiFi or connect to a power source when running the full node, although it can be used on the go as well.
Also, the smartphone has an integrated hardware wallet to enable users to store cryptocurrencies securely. It comes with 4 GB of RAM and 63 GB of storage by default and runs on Android Oreo 8.1.
“We are providing the tools for access to universal basic finance; the tools to have a metaphorical Swiss bank in your pocket,” Chen said.
The mobile will be available in Europe and the Middle East in 27 countries, including Germany, Greece, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. A nascent but increasingly busy field of blockchain-dedicated smartphones is currently not scheduled for sale in the U.S. HTC’s market.
Blockchain company Sirin Labs recently joined Foxconn, a giant producer of electronics, to launch Finney’s blockchain mobile phone, while Samsung launched the Galaxy S10 back in the Spring. Others like LG are rumored to push with upcoming devices into the blockchain space.
Outside the purchase and sale of cryptos, mobile markers are increasingly seeing blockchain technology as a way to reassure consumers worried about their private information security.
“We really care about this portable identity and users owning their identity and data, and we believe that the phone is the best place to do that,” Chen said.