REMEMBER THAT HTC BITCOIN PHONE you didn't buy last year? HTC thinks the reason you don't have one in your pocket right now is that it was just too expensive rather than the… well, so many reasons.
The Taiwanese firm has announced the HTC Exodus 1S: a €219 (~£190) phone that can operate as a Bitcoin node, for people who want to get into crypto but have evidently not made their millions doing so thus far.
Being a Bitcoin node means that the phone can validate and transmit Bitcoin transactions without the help of a centralised third party. It's basically a bank in your pocket, albeit a slightly rundown looking one given the Exodus 1S uses the three-year-old Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor backed by 4GB RAM. The other specs are equally miserly: a 720p display, a single 13MP camera and microUSB charging. Hold us back!
These, uh, "limitations" mean it may struggle to function well as a Bitcoin node, and the company doesn't recommend you use it as such unless you're plugged in and connected to WiFi. This feature will be rolled out to the original HTC Exodus 1, which should fare better with its Snapdragon 845 chipset.
The Exodus 1S will also let you store the entire Bitcoin ledger on your phone, if you want, but you won't be doing that with just the 64GB onboard storage, given the ledger is around 260GB at the time of writing. As it's growing by about 60GB a year, HTC recommends you plug in a 400GB microSD card, which will cost you somewhere between 25 and 50 per cent of the price of the phone to buy.
"Initially considered a gimmick by some, crypto technology is the next frontier of smartphone innovation," HTC's Phil Chen told CNBC with extremely generous use of the word "initially".
"For the smartphone category to grow again, we need more adoption of cryptophones," he added.
Call us cynics, but we're not convinced HTC is the best vehicle for this revolution. It's like Wimpy telling McDonalds and Burger King that the future is kale. µ
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