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New HTC smartphone will allow full bitcoin access

By Francis Jay

Blockchain friendly handset will ‘give you a Swiss bank in your back pocket’

Taiwanese consumer electronics giant HTC has launched a blockchain-friendly smartphone that lets users exchange, lend and borrow a range of cryptocurrencies on the go.

The Exodus 1s is the company’s second “cryptophone” and is considerably cheaper than the Exodus 1, launched last year, retailing at €219 (£188, $244).

The other main difference is that the 1s is able to run a full bitcoin node. That means it can verify bitcoin transactions on the underlying bitcoin network. Users won’t need a third-party exchange to buy and sell the cryptocurrency.

Phil Chen, HTC’s decentralised chief officer, said in a release: “We gave users the ability to own their own keys, and now we’ve gone one step further to allow users to run their own full bitcoin node. We are providing the tools for access to universal basic finance; the tools to have a metaphorical Swiss bank in your pocket.”

However, users wanting to make full use of the phone’s cryptocurrency features will have to buy a separate 400GB memory card to store the entire bitcoin ledger. Without it, they will still need to go through a third-party exchange to validate transactions.

HTC has lost ground in the smartphone market in recent years, focusing more of its resources on areas such as virtual reality (VR).

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