As expected, HTC is doubling down on the idea of blockchain smartphones… but it turns out the company’s next phone isn’t so much a follow-up to last year’s HTC Exodus 1 as it is a cheaper alternative.
HTC has announced that the Exodus 1s will be available in the third quarter of 2019 and it’s expected to sell for under $300, which would make it less than half the price of the $699 Exodus 1.
While the company hasn’t revealed the device’s key specs yet, HTC does say that not only will the new phone support “web 3.0” decentralized apps and function as a secure wallet for cryptocurrency, but you’ll also be able to use it as a full node.
What that means is that the phone will be capable of holding the full Bitcoin blockchain ledger and that it will be able to validate transactions and relay them to other distributed points.
That’s probably not something every user is going to want to do, since the full Bitcoin ledger is more than 200GB in size and would need to be stored on a large microSD card.
HTC says a smaller “pruned down” version can be stored on the phone itself, since it would use about 10GB of space. Operating as a node would still probably take a pretty significant toll on a phone’s battery life.
But even giving users the option of having their phones function as nodes could lead to a more robust Bitcoin network, which could hold its own appeal for some users. With an expected price tag of $250 to $300 and relatively low power consumption, one might even be able to justify purchasing an Exodus 1s just for use as a full node which is left plugged in and running most of the time while you use a different device as your primary phone.
HTC says the original Exodus 1 will also gain the ability to function as a full node later this year, so there’s probably no reason to switch phones if you’ve already got the more expensive model.