Using Bitcoin Off the Grid

How Combining Mesh and Satellites leads to True Financial Freedom

BobTheGrownUp
Dec 24, 2018 · 6 min read

One of the greatest features of Bitcoin is it’s promise of complete economic freedom. Not only does Bitcoin represent technological superiority over credit and cash, but is also a better store of wealth over fiat currency. With a fixed cap of 21 million and controlled by no one entity, it’s holders can rest assured that the wealth they store in it is safe from government manipulation (inflation) and confiscation (seizure)*. However, as “internet money”, there is the concern that this can all go away in an instant. What happens when you can’t connect to the internet?

Banking today makes our money readily available in the most remote of regions. As long as there is a credit card machine, our payments can be accepted and charged to our credit cards. With an ATM usually within 1km of our presence in any major city, we have access to cash, which can be exchanged for any service or good. Cash can be accepted anywhere on Earth, as long as the recieving party recognizes it as a currency they know the value of. Even in the Sahara Desert, I would be willing to accept dollars, but only because I recognize it’s value. If you wanted to give me a currency I had no idea about, I wouldnt accept it, not matter how many zeros it had on it! If Bitcoin wants to compete with cash, it needs to be available and exchangeable at even the most remote regions, with price knowledge available.

Sounds like alot, but whats the value?

GoTenna+Samurai Wallet = TxTenna

If the creation of Bitcoin wasn’t sci-fi enough for people, we are now entering a new era of financial freedom with what is possible through mesh networks and crypto wallets.

A wireless mesh network is a communications network that can be created without any wired devices. Relying on radio nodes, this is an ideal low cost solution for areas that don’t have cell tower coverage and don’t have built out internet infrastructure. If you and your friend each have a mesh device, you have created a network that covers the area in between. With one of you connected to the internet, that network now is also connected to the internet. All without wires!

These devices, like the one made by goTenna, can cover areas as far as 10 miles with their signals. When multiple devices connect together, they create a mesh cloud. This lets users far away from Internet connectivity get connected; by hopping through the mesh to a device miles away that happens to be connected to the internet. This is how Bitcoin can be used even in areas without internet coverage. Transactions can be signed and verified offline, and will be confirmed once the message reaches a blockchain connected device.

TRANSACT OFF-LINE

When goTenna Mesh pairs with your phone, Samourai Wallet generates a prompt to use TxTenna where transactions will broadcast over the network until it reaches an online TxTenna user, up to three hops away.

Through the online TxTenna user, transactions are confirmed on the Bitcoin blockchain and a private confirmation message is relayed back to the original TxTenna user.

Samourai Wallet has created TxTenna, which allows users to connect to a goTenna mesh network and broadcast their transmissions through the mesh cloud. This means that you can make purchases and never share any of your network information, because there is no IP address! When we commonly bring up the issue of privacy, it relates to your ip address showing your location to the entire network. With a mesh network, there is no need to hide your location through TOR, because your transaction is happening over a people-powered decentralized network.

This new technology gives the power of Bitcoin to users that couldnt possibly have access to it before, and it does so at a low cost and with even more privacy. No ISP can stop a mesh network; this system becomes even more resilient than ever. Transactions can occur off-line and be confirmed to the blockchain later. The only thing that has been an issue is getting access to the Bitcoin network in low connectivity regions, but this too has been solved.

Enter Blockstream

Blockstream, the company behind Liquid, has now launched their fifth Bitcoin satellite, now offering coverage to every major continent outside of Greenland and Antartica. The satellites are constantly beaming the entire blockchain down to earth, as well as price information!

This now creates an opportunity for entire groups of people to exchange value using bitcoin and never once go over the internet powered by ISPs and Mobile providers. Anywhere on Earth, as long as there are enough devices creating a mesh cloud, and one of those devices is connected to a satellite dish receiving the bitcoin blockchain, that entire cloud will be able to make transactions and have them confirmed.

How can you build your own Bitcoin Ecosystem

Step 1: You’ll need to buy goTenna’s or some other mesh enabling device for every node/wallet user in the area. This is my affiliate link for a goTenna on Amazon — https://amzn.to/2V5SlSz. It’s cheaper on Amazon then anywhere else I can find.**

Step 2: Everyone will need a TxTenna and the Samourai software wallet — currently this is only available on Android devices

Step 3: If you are in the wilderness or want to be completely off-grid, you’ll need a satellite connection. Here is a great guide by grubles to getting started on connecting to the Blockstream satellite network.

Who knew that creating a self-controlled people-powered decentralized economic system could be so fun!

To put things into perspective, a Bitcoin user can now make a payment across the globe, instantly using the Lightning Network, paying a minimal fee, and could be in the remotest regions on Earth, while a banker in his office on Wall St. and connected through wired Verizon Fios, will still need to wait a few days for a wire transfer and pay a hefty percentage for the transaction. Economic Freedom at its best.

With the combination of Samourai Wallet + goTenna + Blockstream + Satellite dish, you can power an entire entire economic system that is verifiable trustless. Payments can be sent globally and there is no need to share your location with an ip address. Once there is a Satellite dish solution specifically catered to easy setup with Blockstream, this 4 part combination will become the standard in brining the unbanked into the Bitcoin revolution. These teams deserve our attention as they surely will be at the forefront of innovating transaction availability throughout the cosmos!

Hope you enjoyed this article — please find below some footnote questions for improvements and contact information


*What would you call the change of currency event of the Euro for the European nation states? That was an event where people had to change their currency to another one or risk losing their wealth.

**Let me know if you find it cheaper — its $125 on Amazon and $175 on goTenna


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BobTheGrownUp

Written by

Dean Pappas | Marketing @ ETCLabs | Editor @ TalkBitcoinTalk| Bitcoin Advocate | Crypto Writer, Investor, and Advisor

TalkBitcoinTalk

Bitcoin, Blockchain and Decentralized Systems for a better tomorrow. ICO and STO news, Announcements and Crypto Services.

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