Bitcoin (BTC) developers continue to surprise enthusiasts with new inventions and innovations. We have heard about the Lightning Network (LN), the Lightning Torch and how Bitcoin is getting prepared for massive scaling. This time, Bitcoin coders have sent a different Lightning payment using radio waves.
The transaction has been organized via Twitter during the weekend. The transaction was sent by Rodolfo Novak, the co-founder of the startup CoinKite, to the Bloomberg columnist Elaine Ou. In this way, it was possible to move funds from Toronto, Canada to San Francisco, California.
Radio technology is generally used to transmit music or broadcast radio. However, it is possible to process much more than this. The Bitcoin network can be enhanced and improved with it, providing an alternative way of transacting funds if the Internet shuts down.
Bitcoin is making ham radio cool again! https://t.co/DBqCixd3dw
— Elaine Ou (@eiaine) March 1, 2019
There have been several experts and analysts that claim that this is not just a fun experiment, but also something that could be implemented in the future. The idea was released by Nick Szabo and Ou. The idea was presented back in 2017 with the intention to help Bitcoin build resistance to the so-called partition attacks. Nevertheless, researchers mentioned that it could be used to attack the network instead.
Will be 18 messages long! 40m band looks open.
— NVK (@nvk) March 1, 2019
Thus, the internet is not the only method users have to send a Bitcoin or Lightning payment to another user around the world. If China decides to block Bitcoin using its Great Firewall, or if North Korea does not allow users to increase their freedom, radio frequencies could help individuals to transact funds.
One of the main constraints to perform transactions in this way is the hardware equipment required. Ou explained that the transaction has been coordinated before sending the signals, meaning that the payment was clearly unrealistic.
Ou commented about the initiative:
“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 ago Rodolfo Novak managed to move Bitcoin 600km away from Toronto to the co-founder of Openbazaar, Sam Patterson in Michigan, United States. This proves that there have been some trials to see the resilience that Bitcoin could have in a catastrophic situation.
Moreover, there are ways to remain connected to the whole networks using satellites. Thus, Bitcoin could eventually survive a world without the internet.