It might be possible one day to achieve Bitcoin transactions from literally anywhere in the world, with no internet connection and no electricity. Off-grid cryptocurrency transaction seems to be becoming a reality as yet another developer has managed to send Bitcoin without a data connection, using only low-cost consumer grade hardware.
For the uninitiated, goTenna is a two-way radio for mobile phones: it pairs with an Android or iOS device using Bluetooth and uses 151-154 MHz radio to communicate with the outside world. It is in effect replacing the finely crafted radio which is integrated into the design of the rest of your mobile phone with one produced by a startup.
Once then, it will only talk to another device which is similarly equipped: and which, due to its low bandwidth, can only send text messages.
The only issue is that goTennas work best in wide open areas.
How did he do it?
The goTenna antennas were places about six kilometers apart on high ground to give the best connection possible. A smartphone was then used to generate a signed Bitcoin transaction in Samourai wallet as a goTenna message.
The goTenna messaging service successfully delivered two signed Bitcoin transactions to dev’s girlfriend’s smartphone – also connected to the goTenna network.
The first transaction was sent from 5.6 km away and the second from 12.7 km away.
It might sound simple, but off-grid networks like this could have valuable future applications – particularly in times of natural disaster.
All the devices in this setup could be solar powered, so in theory this entire system could exist off-grid – at least in part.
Occasionally this off-grid network must sync with the Bitcoin blockchain to prevent double spending.
The real breakthrough here is this goTenna system is much simpler (and more accessible) than other powerless Bitcoin solutions created lately.
Last month devs released details of similar concept which used solar power, battery packs, and shortwave radios to perform off-grid, on-chain transactions.
But shortwave radios require more specialist knowledge than smartphones to operate, and in many countries you even need a license. A lot more equipment than four goTennas and a cheap smartphone.
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