In a one-of-its-kind transaction, two developers sitting in different countries made successful Bitcoin transaction over radio waves. The successful transaction was made between Rodolfo Novak, co-founder of Bitcoin hardware startup CoinKite and Bloomberg columnist Elaine Ou. The transaction carried the Bitcoin from Toronto, Canada to San Francisco, California.
Radio technology was used only for talk radio or broadcasting music. However, it is capable of many more things, like it was demonstrated. It could be used to reinforce the Bitcoin network.
“Bitcoin is making ham radio cool again!” Ou tweeted after completing the transaction with Novak. She made a reference to “ham radio,” which is the term used to call the form of radio that hobbyists use. Many researchers think that the consequences of such a transaction are more than simple.
Bitcoin FTW pic.twitter.com/ZEEe7K3Q4A
— NVK (@nvk) March 1, 2019
The idea was first born in the brain of Nick Szabo, inventor of the smart contract. The same was presented at the Scaling Bitcoin conference in San Francisco back in 2017. They argued that this could bring resistance to Bitcoin’s partition attacks.
The core of the idea is that the internet can be controlled in many ways, while bitcoin can still be transferred through other media. “in case China decides to censor bitcoin via the Great Firewall, or places like North Korea where there is no internet at all,” as Ou said in an email to CoinDesk.
Technology infrastructure startup Blockstream handed the license to satellites regarding beam bitcoin to global users. However, there are obvious shortcomings to the concept
“It was a fun demo, but obviously unrealistic because we coordinated everything online before sending the radio signals,” Ou accepted.
She went on,
“The equipment is currently the hard part: You need a radio that supports these frequencies. The cheapest way is with a software-defined radio, which is about $200 for something that can transmit low-power signals or thousands for a high-power transmitter.”
A few weeks back, Rodolfo Novak was successful in transferring Bitcoin 600km from Toronto to Sam Patterson in Michigan, United States. There were several attempts to transfer Bitcoin.
Besides, there are ways in which places could stay connected without internet, and hence bitcoin would survive in any case.
“It goes back to an early decision we made. We thought, we could tell people what they can do and can’t do or we could decide to give people the tools and a sanctioned way to go on and build the functionality they want,” said Blockstream engineer Christian Decker, who pioneered the plugin idea.
Christian Decker also said that The Blockstream engineering team chose the latter route,
“By extending it on their own and adding their own favorite feature, this allows users to sort of make it their own lightning node, so to speak.”