Litecoin founder Charlie Lee is aiming to add some extra firepower to the new crypto-friendly smartphone from HTC. The man behind one of Bitcoin’s most successful offshoots has partnered with the Taiwanese mobile manufacturer to help develop its forthcoming HTC Exodus handset. After announcing its intention to develop a blockchain device back in May, HTC has remained fairly tightlipped about what it will offer. An update in July outlined some basic details, including the fact it will have an integrated wallet and cost around $1,000. But so far, not much more has been said.
However, in an effort to signal his own interest in the project and perhaps generate some buzz, Charlie Lee sent out a tweet confirming he’s now on the team.
Met the HTC Exodus team last week and was really excited to hear the phone will support LTC and Lightning Network on Litecoin natively! I will be an advisor as I see having a secure crypto phone that makes LN simple is needed for mass adoption.
P.S. No, they will not remove BTC. https://t.co/WQcygPVst0
— Charlie Lee [LTC⚡] (@SatoshiLite) July 30, 2018
The social media announcement appeared to have an effect as the tweet attracted a host of likes and replies.
“Goodbye @SamsungMobile I MUST leave you for @htc phone. I had fun with you but I gotta move on,” tweeted @johnkim77.
Charlie Lee and HTC Collaboration May Halt Bearish Trend
As well as the wave of optimism created by Charlie Lee’s association with HTC’s Exodus project, many have already started to speculate on what this could do for LTC. The price of Litecoin has dropped markedly over the last three months. Following a $179.68 high back in May, the LTC price chart tumbled by more than $100 to just $77 at the close of July. For analysts, Litecoin is likely to remain bearish as the dominance rating of Bitcoin continues to surge. However, with Lee now working closely with HTC, the coin could find a way back into the black.
As for the blockchain phone itself, the jury is still out. For the Next Web’s Abhimanyu Ghoshal, $1,000 for a mobile in a world that’s gone cold on cryptos is too much. However, if Lee can succeed in making the Exodus suitable for mass adoption, it could change the smartphone market. For consumers, the obvious benefit of a decentralized phone will be its universal wallet capabilities. Much like Skrill’s recent upgrades and the crypto innovations at Opera are making it easier to store and send funds, the HTC Exodus will do the same. When this function is combined with mobile payment technology, the process of paying for goods and services with cryptocurrencies will be a lot easier.
Price of Litecoin Could Hinge on Blockchain Phones
Beyond the benefits of storing and spending cryptocurrencies, privacy could be the phone’s biggest selling point. With the Facebook data scandal lifting the veil and showing the masses how exposed they can be, the HTC Exodus may look like a useful alternative. As the tech company has said, the phone will store user data on the device rather than a centralized cloud. For those concerned with privacy, this could make $1,000 a small price to pay. However, for the Exodus to make an impact, users will first have to buy into the concept of blockchain mobile phones. Even if that does happen, the HTC won’t be the only player in town. Sirin Labs is already working with Foxconn to create a device that will redefine security and the ability to pay with cryptos.
The first battle between the smartphone innovators is scheduled to start in Q3 of 2018 and it’s not yet clear if either one will come out on top. However, for the Litecoin project, even a small amount of interest could help. With Charlie Lee showing that he’s willing to embrace new ideas and work on making LTC more useful and accessible, it could bode well for the future. Indeed, as critics question Litecoin’s place in the market by suggesting it offers nothing more than slightly faster transfers than Bitcoin, early integration into the mobile sphere could give it a USP.
Although this could take some time to manifest itself in reality, the price of Litecoin could benefit from any short-term speculation. What’s more, if the decentralized phone project succeeds, it would buoy the price of all cryptos. As Imperial’s cryptocurrency report has suggested, if the leading tokens can be scaled, secured and prove useful, they’ll have the power to replace fiats. For HTC, the way to achieve this is by putting blockchains in our pockets.