Cryptocurrency transactions over solar-powered shortwave radios

(Source: @nixops)

(Source: The Next Web via Kim Elliott)

Devs used solar-powered radios to complete first ‘off-grid’ cryptocurrency transaction

Could blockchain help after disaster strikes?

A group of developers claim to have performed a solar-powered cryptocurrency transaction, using shortwave radios and blockchain tech. While it might not be the world’s first radio-transmitted cryptocurrency transaction, the devs insist it is the first one to be completed entirely off-grid.

They managed to do it with just a portable hard drive, a solar battery pack, a shortwave radio, and, of course, some technical know-how.

In addition to these gadgets, the developers used open-source cryptocurrency Burst to conduct the experiment. For the record, the transaction was recorded on Burst’s blockchain without the need for any mains power or data connections.

One of the developers, Daniel Jones, has since teased an image of the improvised setup on Twitter:

Click here to read the full article on The Next Web.

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1 thought on “Cryptocurrency transactions over solar-powered shortwave radios

  1. Laurence N.

    This is extremely misleading. Allow me to state some problems with it right now:
    1. The “radio” is a transmitter. Not what the title implies. It has to be operated by a licensed operator in order to get the range it needs, because
    2. “It doesn’t use a mains data connection” is a lie. It does use a mains data connection that’s at the other end of the radio. Essentially, the radio is just sending the request. This is the same as if someone got on a ham connection and asked someone else to place a transaction for them. The transaction occurred over the radio, and the radio may have been self-powered, but without the internet on the other end, it is useless.
    This is not a step forward. The first person to use a phone to place a transaction was “having a cryptocurrency transaction using a battery-powered portable device using radio to send the message”, but it required a cell tower or WiFi base station. They’re just extending the connection range by using ham radio to do so, and wasting a lot of power because crypto transactions are large blobs of data that need to be sent over the radio. Not only is it completely ungroundbreaking, it would be a lot less useful in a disaster situation than just handing over some cash or finding a different connection method (working cable, working cell tower, satellite system) or calling up a friend, using whatever is convenient (including ham gear) and having them place the transaction for you. If you’d like, I can find someone with a solar-powered satellite internet receiver and we can be the first people to send a cryptocurrency transaction using solar power on both ends and no (tangible cable) network connections. But if we do, that’s not news either.


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