Internet-free cryptography: how mesh networks in Venezuela implement Bitcoin's value propositions
One could say that mesh networks are resolving the fundamental value proposition of a censorship-resistant, independent currency Bitcoin. For even the cryptocurrency # 1 still has her Achilles heel. If the government of a country comes up with the idea of turning off the Internet, Game Over. The nodes can then no longer synchronize with the Bitcoin Blockchain and the functionality of the peer-to-peer currency is obsolete.
Especially in countries where Bitcoin is entering into serious competition with legal money, the cryptocurrency meets resistance. In Venezuela, the trade in Bitcoin & Co. is not directly prohibited. But as the portal Bitcoinist.com reports, the leading crypto exchange LocalBitcoins Venezuela is repeatedly affected by server failures. For a peer-to-peer currency that pretends not to have a single point of failure, that's not a viable attribute.
How can this be remedied? The answer is Mesh Network.
These are specific hardware nodes that build up and synchronize Second Layer networks. To maintain the network infrastructure, there is then no need for an Internet or mobile connection. The mesh networks are thus completely self-sufficient. According to a tweet, the Venezuelan Bitcoin enthusiasts from locha.io are working on such a network.
With a battery, you'll be able to carry your Turpial (smallest #Mesh node device, look the size comparison with a SD card adapter). This would let anyone text & transmit #Bitcoin txs even if there is no service (internet, 3G / mobile, SMS, nor calls).
Help: https://t.co/OT66WRK6iU pic.twitter.com/33lFqLNQkv
– Locha B ₿ ⚡️ ? #Bitcoin (@Locha_io) January 21, 2019
"With a battery you can carry your Turpial (smallest #mesh node, see size comparison with an SD card adapter). This would allow anyone to transfer # Bitcoin transactions, even if there is no corresponding service (Internet, 3G / mobile, SMS or calls). "
Bitcoin completely detached
Now, one wonders: Mesh networks are fine, but Bitcoin is a global payment system? So how do you bring the balances from the local network to the blockchain? Blockstream can help in the case of the Venezuelan project. Because the Harpia Node of the development team around locha.io can connect to the blockstream satellite without having to connect to the Internet. On top of that, even the construction of Lightning Channels seems to be possible.
? is here: Harpia (left) & Turpial (right) nodes hardware arrived. Working on the demo w / the two node types that Locha Mesh wants to have as a basic setup#Bitcoin txs & messages without internet access are closer!
– Locha B ₿ ⚡️ ? #Bitcoin (@Locha_io) December 22, 2018
"The Harpia (left) & Turpial (right) nodes have arrived. [Wir] work on the demo with the two nodes that will have Locha Mesh as the base setup. # Bitcoin transactions without internet access are getting closer! "
In the meantime, the Venezuelan team has received prominent support for their ambitious project from Blockstream founder and self-confessed Cypherpunk Adam Beck. Via Twitter, he announced the progress of locha.io far-reaching:
#Bitcoin mesh nets brewing … https://t.co/A7VrxpKDbO
– Adam Back (@ adam3us) January 21, 2019
If you would like to help the team financially, please refer to the appeal for donations by Bitcoin Venezuela:
We need ₿12.61 BTC ($ 50k) to make the devs full-time for 3 months. If you donate $ 1k you will get 3 Turpial nodes, which will let you have a mesh in your living room
bitcoin: bc1quxkp0kd9w2mgsw82a6uhax0ev5er9javqlk7ajhttps: //t.co/11WIyk7DNq 1/2
– Bitcoin Venezuela ⚡️ (@btcven) December 23, 2018
"We need 12.61 BTC ($ 50,000) to keep the developers busy for 3 months full-time to make the mesh equipment. If you donate $ 1,000, you will receive 3 Turpial Nodes […]. "
These are exciting times.
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