In a surprise announcement, HTC has released information regarding its new Exodus model smartphone which will feature the ability to run a full Bitcoin node.

HTC may not quite be on the same level as Apple or Samsung when it comes to success in the smartphone industry, but it has been trying to leverage the emerging popularity of blockchain technology to level the field.

HTC’s Crypto Push

The Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer made its first strides in accomplishing this goal in October of last year when it released its flagship model Exodus 1 smartphone. The Exodus 1 first garnered a bit of attention among cryptocurrency proponents as it was released with the option of paying in Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH).

Forbes reports that the Exodus 1S will have similar options of paying in cryptocurrency, adding Litecoin (LTC) and potentially other cryptocurrency options for a price equal to the $250 to $300 dollar range. The 1S will be far more affordable compared to the original Exodus which sells on HTC’s website for €749.

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Bells and Whistles

The 1S will have the ability to store BTC, ETH, and LTC via the built-in Zion vault similar to its predecessor model, and also include an integrated Opera-based browser and Blockfolio application.

The most notable and exciting update, however, is the phone’s ability to run a full Bitcoin node, making it the first smartphone with built-in capabilities of verifying BTC transactions. According to the most recent data from Coin Dance, there are 9,134 Bitcoin Core nodes in operation.

HTC’s Chief Cryptocurrency Officer Phil Chen stressed the importance of this feature stating:

“Running a node is maybe the most important part of the blockchain as it helps secure the network, every one of them acts as an authoritative verifier of every single transaction of the block.”

An increase in nodes will help to further strengthen the Bitcoin network for everyone. Most veteran cryptocurrency users are still on the fence and wary about storing their funds on a smartphone when there are other cheap and more secure options like hardware wallets. However, the ability to run a full Bitcoin node in their pocket could just be the feature that really lets the Exodus 1S shine.

Do you think HTC will ever be able to make a name for themselves in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space? Will the Exodus 1S have more success than the flagship model? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.