TL;DR: Smartphone maker HTC is expanding its EXODUS line to include cryptocurrency mining. Partnering with Midas Labs and their DeMiner application, the idea is to expand mining decentralization by allowing mobile users to mine privacy coin Monero (XMR), beginning the second quarter of this year.
Mine Monero Straight From HTC EXODUS Smartphone
In the mining game, two camps are often pitted against one another: CPU versus ASIC advocates. At present, application-specific integrated circuit, or ASIC, appears to be winning out easily as computations and competition for proof of work (PoW) block rewards and security heat up. It has led to a giant and very profitable industry, but more enthusiasts are worried about the influence of large pools and rig manufacturers.
The central processing unit, or CPU, version of mining has simply been crushed by market realities. They’re just not ready, adaptable to most PoW network needs. The CPU dream, however, is to allow every user to become a kind of miner, a key spoke in the hub of securing blockchain networks, toward the goal of ever-further decentralization. The theory goes: more miners distributed all over the globe means a robust, less fragile system capable of withstanding inevitable attacks.
Taiwan-based consumer electronics company HTC is attempting to both reignite its smartphone market niche, once a dominant player since eaten alive by Apple and Google competition, through a novel idea: blockchain phones. HTC partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Binance, and offers an EXODUS 1s line packed with crypto-related features. The latest effort along these lines is a return to the CPU decentralized mining debate.
An Indispensable Part
The HTC EXODUS 1s will soon offer the chance to mine privacy coin Monero, using the DeMiner App from Midas Labs, headed by HiWire Consortium board member and National Taiwan University electrical engineering professor Dr. Jri Lee, founder and CEO of Midasmicro Inc. and Midas Labs Inc.
Dr. Lee told Forbes, “Cryptocurrency mining should never be limited to centralized farms or giant miners. Mining on mobile or other personal devices perfectly meets the main spirit of blockchain, i.e., decentralization. Today, the most valuable cryptocurrencies are still based on proof of work. That is, mining is the indispensable part of these cryptocurrencies.
“Mobile mining will meaningfully add to decentralization as it will increase the security of the network,” Lee continued. “If we’re helping to secure the networks, then all cryptocurrency users benefit from it. We should also bear in mind that there are billions of smartphones in the world. Using Monero as an example, the mobile hash rate could easily exceed the existing hash rate if only 1% of smartphones conduct mining. Bringing mining to mobile is a very important step for blockchain.”
Important and Crucial Experiment
For now, what lead developer at HTC EXODUS Phil Chen characterized as an “experiment,” the planned rollout only mines a fraction of Monero. In the official EXODUS Telegram group, HTC enthusiasts seem unimpressed for the moment, noting Monero as of yet isn’t listed within the proprietary EXODUS 1s wallet, Zion, calling the .0038 potential XMR mining yield “nothing.”
Nevertheless, Chen stressed, “Bitcoin and mobile phones are the most important and impactful technology inventions of recent times. I am lucky enough to be involved on the frontlines of both these technologies. What drives our decisions around these technologies is our values; specifically, the question of how we can further decentralize and create a more inclusive monetary system,” as quoted by Forbes.
As for why HTC chose Monero, Chen explained it “is an important and crucial experiment resisting the trend of centralized mining. It utilizes an algorithm called ‘Random X’ that is suitable for CPU-based calculation. The use of this algorithm is actively fighting some of the centralizing forces that create the mining pools in Bitcoin. Furthermore, the mature development of power-saving software on mobile, as opposed to power-hungry laptops or desktops, amplifies the effectiveness and efficiency of the profitability of mining on mobile.”
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