HTC EXODUS 1s Will Run a Full Bitcoin Node, but So Can an Ordinary Android Phone

On Saturday (May 11), Phil Chen, Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC's "Decentralized Chief Officer", while speaking on day one of the two-day Magical Crypto Conference in New York City, said that his company's next blockchain phone, the Exodus 1s, would be capable of running a full Bitcoin node, which sounds great. However, you don't need to wait for HTC to release this phone to benefit from this feature; in fact, there is already an app for that, which means that you should be able to run a full Bitcoin node on most existing Android devices.

According to the Bitoin Core team, a full node is defined as follows:

"A full node is a program that fully validates transactions and blocks. Almost all full nodes also help the network by accepting transactions and blocks from other full nodes, validating those transactions and blocks, and then relaying them to further full nodes."

HTC EXODUS 1s

Chen told Coindesk that the EXODUS 1s would much cheaper than EXODUS 1, HTC's first attempt at a blockchain phone, which was released last December. Here is what he revealed about the upcoming phone:

  • Just like its predecessor, it will support "Zion Vault", TC's crypto wallet app.
  • It will sell for $250-$300.
  • HTC is hoping to release it by the end of Q3 2019.
  • Initially, the phone will only support the Bitcoin blockchain, but support for other public blockchains, such as Ethereum, may be added in the future.

Chen told Engadget:

"There is a shortage of full nodes in the network. By taking a more long-term, ecosystem perspective as a device manufacturer we believe we can help grow this network for application developers which in turn would benefit everyone using Bitcoin. There's a sense of being my brother's keeper here for running a full node. "

Currently, the full Bitcoin blockchain takes up over 200GB of storage space. HTC says you can run a "pruned version" on the phone, but to run a full node, you will need to get a very high capacity microSD card. By the way, this feature is also being added to the EXODUS 1. In both cases, you will need a decent Wi-Fi connection.

Bitcoin Core for Android

HTC's upcoming EXODUS 1s blockchain phone sounds interesting and the price seems quite reasonable, but what if you don't wait till the end of Q3 or possibly Q4 to run a full Bitcoin node on a phone that you can carry anywhere with you? Or what if you have already have a relatively recent Android phone or tablet?

When reporting on this phone over the past weekend what most news outlets neglected to mention is that there is already an open source project, albeit in the alpha stage, that provides an Android app (available from the Google Play store) called "ABCore" that is designed to "make it easier to run a Bitcoin Core node on always on Android appliances such as set top boxes or repurposed tables/phones."

ABCore, which can be described as an Android wrapper for Bitcoin Core, is a hobby project of Lawrence Nahum (@LarryBitcoin on Twitter), Chief Architect at Blockstream; for those who are interested, its source code can be found on GitHub.

Nahum says that these are the some of the reasons for choosing ABCore instead of running Bitcoin Core on Linux, Windows, or MacOS:

  • "No need to keep active your PC/Server 24/7"
  • "Low power consumption"
  • "You can install it on home devices that are already active 24/7"

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pexels.com

Bullish Bitcoin Investors Are Ignoring Institutional Bears

Neil Dennis

Bitcoin investors remained positive this week, despite data showing that bearish bets on the futures market had increased during the previous week.

Positioning data on CME Bitcoin futures showed that institutional managers held 14% more short positions in the seven days to Friday, June 21, than in the week before, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Futures trade allows investors to back an asset's losses as well as gains: short positioning means backing an asset to fall in price over a defined period.  The increase in the CFTC short position data on CME Bitcoin futures, therefore, would indicate growing bearishness by the larger institutional players.

Playing it by the Charts

They may have been playing it by the charts. The previous two tops occured in mid-May when the price of Bitcoin reached a high of $8,352 before falling back nearly $1,000, and then at the very end of May reaching $9,066 before falling back to $7,807.

Bitcoin's price performnace

The chart shows that in the week to June 21, when shorts on CME Bitcoin futures grew, Bitcoin pushed up above $10,000, in a chart pattern that might have led many to believe another pullback was imminent.

This drop, predicted by many institutional investors, never came, however, and private investors continued to back the Bitcoin rally. Indeed, the CFTC report showed that smaller investors continued to hold more long positions - backing the continued rally: investors with fewer than 25 Bitcoin futures contracts showed four times as many long positions than shorts.

Short Covering

This may help explain how the rally of the last couple of weeks gained momentum, as those on the institutional side joined the buying to cover their short positions.

Tanya Abrosimova, analyst for FXStreet, said:

Many experts believe that at this stage Bitcoin is driven by FOMO (fear of missing out), while the market repeats the situation of late 2017.

It is also likely that Facebook's announcement about the lauch of its Libra cryptocurrency caught the institutional shorts on the wrong side of the market. Since the Libra announcement on Tuesday, June 18, Bitcoin has gained more than 30%.

Abrosimova added:

Looking technically, Bitcoin has been growing strongly for eight days in succession, which is the longest period of uninterrupted growth since December 2017. As BTC/USD is trying to take out a new barrier at $12,500. Once it is out of the way, the next bullish target of $13,000 will quickly come into view.