Major cell phone manufacturer HTC has made a big announcement at the New York Magical Crypto Conference this week. The company through its decentralized chief officer Phil Chen announced that it will be launching its new phone which can support the full Bitcoin blockchain with a full node.
An improvement from EXODUS 1
The new phone is a cheaper and more advanced version of the former EXODUS 1, the first blockchain phone the company produced which was released in 2018, Chen said. The improvement according to him is to contribute to maintaining the integrity of the Bitcoin network as more full nodes mean a healthier network. Although this might seem like a big task for a mobile device, he believes phones are very capable of doing it.
“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.
Although also a blockchain phone, the EXODUS 1 was only capable of storing private keys to secure users’ digital assets but did not possess the ability the 1s has. In addition to running the full Bitcoin node, Chen said a light Ethereum node could also be supported on the phone depending on its specifications, although the company is not considering that right now.
After the successful launch of the EXODUS 1s with a fully functional Bitcoin full node, HTC may be considering replicating the same idea for other cryptocurrencies. The company also plans to provide a software development kit (SDK) for its crypto wallet app Zion Vault, and eventually make the codes behind its social key recovery open source. It also intends to support public blockchains in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
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While the specifications for the new phone has not been released yet, HTC plans to launch it by the end of Q3 with a retail price between $250 and $300. It might be only available for purchase with cryptocurrencies in the first instance like they did with the EXODUS 1 in 2018, or fiat can be used to pay for it from the start, only time will tell.