For a long time, running Bitcoin nodes require dedicated hardware that is fixed. But HTC is trying to change that.
The consumer electronics company from New Taipei City, Taiwan, launched the Exodus 1s, which is a blockchain phone with Bitcoin network support.
Unveiling it during the Lightning Conference in Berlin, the company claimed the product is the first smartphone capable of running a full Bitcoin node, allowing users to propagate transactions and blocks anywhere.
The Exodus 1s is built with the same goal as its predecessor, the original Exodus 1, which was introduced back in 2018 as "the first native blockchain phone”. Both phones double as a hardware ledger. But the Exodus 1s goes more than that, as it can run a full Bitcoin node.
According to Phil Chen, chief decentralized officer at HTC:
"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"
Exodus 1s packs a Snapdragon 435 chipset, and 4GB of RAM.
In the camera department, the Exodus 1s has a single 13MP PDAF camera sensor on the back and one of the same resolution at the front. It also boasts two SIM card slots with 4G plus 3G dual standby, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 4.1 and last but not least, a 3,000 mAh battery.
Shipping with Android 8.1, Exodus 1s has a 5.7" 18:9 HD+ display.
And as for storage, the smartphone has a 64GB of internal storage and and a SD card slot.
In other words, Exodus 1s is a pretty low-end device, even when compared to the original Exodus 1.
But unlike others, the Exodus 1s can make use of its external storage as a mean to keep the entire Bitcoin ledger in it. Supporting 400GB of external storage (sold separately), Exodus 1s can keep an entire Bitcoin ledger, which is about 260GB, at the time of the announcement.
Phil Chen explained that:
The advantage of having a full Bitcoin ledger inside a smartphone is that, users can verify transactions by themselves with the phone, and operate with more security than using the popular Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) wallet scheme, where a third-party website takes part in the validation process.
By keeping an entire node, users can create transaction data, without sharing any of the information to the world.
For these reasons, HTC is specifically marketing Exodus 1s to Bitcoin enthusiasts.
There are some drawbacks with the Exodus 1s, as reported by GSMArena.
First, it can only support a Bitcoin node locally. And second, with the device's three-year-old chipset, having a whole Bitcoin node can be a burden to the processor as well as the battery.
This is why HTC only recommends users to run the Bitcoin node while connected to a wall socket or power bank.
Exodus 1s comes with a price of $244, which is about a third of the cost of the Exodus 1. HTC initially makes Exodus 1s available for users in Europe, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.