Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC has unveiled its new blockchain smartphone, the HTC Exodus 1s.
This new handset is a cheaper version of the company’s first blockchain handset, the HTC Exodus 1. The device maker priced its new smartphone between $250 and $300, which is less than half the original price of the Exodus 1. The company's first blockchain smartphone shipped with a price tag of $699.
As a blockchain smartphone, the Exodus 1s can store tokens and cryptographic keys of a user inside a secure enclave within the device. Additional features present in the Exodus 1 that may also appear in the Exodus 1s include the support for decentralized mobile applications and integration with the Opera crypto browser. These features allow users to sell their data in exchange for cryptocurrency and purchase items also through virtual currency.
However, the Exodus 1s also boasts new features not found in the more expensive handset. The Exodus 1s is capable of serving as a full Bitcoin node, an integral component of the Bitcoin network that works to process and send transactions to the cryptocurrency system.
Phil Chen, the Decentralized Chief Officer at HTC, takes pride with the fact that the Exodus 1s lowers the barrier for interested users to participate on the Bitcoin network, although there are critical concerns that the device maker had to address so that the device could function appropriately as a Bitcoin node. A device that acts as a Bitcoin node has to keep the entire blockchain history, which means that the device has to store around 200GB worth of data.
While using a microSD card will allow the Exodus 1s to store vast amounts of data, syncing the blockchain history will negatively impact the battery of the device, and it will also consume a substantial portion of the user’s data allocation.
To reduce the amount of storage consumed by the blockchain history, the Exodus 1s employs a method called pruning, which significantly reduces the size of the blockchain file. Furthermore, there are also design elements that HTC will incorporate into the smartphone to address other potential issues with the Exodus 1s’ functions as a Bitcoin node. However, while the device can store cryptocurrency, it cannot be used to mine virtual currencies due to the lack of computing power.
Other features that could appear on the Exodus 1s as a result of partnerships made by HTC include the presence of search bar widget for the privacy-focused search engine Qwant and support for Ethereum explorer Etherscan.
However, the company did not share any specifications of its latest device, although the cheaper price tag suggests that the smartphone will have less powerful hardware compared to the Exodus 1. As a reminder, the original Exodus 1 sported the Snapdragon 845 chipset and shipped with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal flash storage. The handset also sported a 6-inch display with a QHD+ resolution and an aspect ratio of 18:9. The device also featured dual camera systems at both the back and the front of the handset, while a 3,500mAh battery powered the Exodus 1.
The appearance of the Exodus 1s is likely related to HTC’s continued focus on blockchain technologies to improve the financial performance of the Taiwanese tech firm. HTC has yet to share information about the availability of the device, and it may take several weeks or months before interested consumers may get a hold of the handset.