The idea behind Bitcoin was to have a cryptocurrency that government or any authorities can’t interfere with, but the government controls the internet. Thinking about the possibility of sending Bitcoin while offline, according to a Medium post published February 14, 2019, a crypto enthusiast successfully sent Bitcoin via high-frequency shortwave radio, opening a new world of possibilities.
JS8Call Experiment almost Failed
The exciting news came to the fore when an anonymous cryptocurrency enthusiast in a location in Eastern Europe received payment in Bitcoin via the lightning network to broadcast messages using block stream satellite in space.
In what can only be called a bold experiment, Radolfo Novak, the founder, and creator of CoinKite project explains in a tweet how they thought the experiment had failed since the recipients took an entire day to confirm receipt. Thankfully, the confirmation finally came the following day via a Software-Defined Radio (SDR) that resembles a computer with a radio’s capacity and an antenna for responding.
The recipient responded via the JS8Call App that’s designed to send text words through radio frequencies and a configured brain-wallet with the Bitcoin that Novak sent from Toronto to a receiver in Michigan, USA. Following the initial transaction, the BTC has been sent around to other radio operators, to prove that it works. Novak tweeted:
According to an official Medium blog post, the experiment began when Novak asked whether anyone would like to receive Bitcoin via WSPR/FT8 (amateur radio). As soon as a suitable candidate responded using the JS8Call application Novak executed the Bitcoin transaction successfully.
There have been some experiments in the past to transfer Bitcoin in the absence of the internet, and it has been accomplished in the past via satellite and mesh networks.
This is an important development for the crypto community as it would allow users to stay connected to the Bitcoin blockchain and send or receive BTC even if a rogue country decided to turn off the internet. Cryptographer and computer scientists Nick Szabo couldn’t hide his excitement at the possibility and took to Twitter to make the big announcement:
It Could Come In Handy
The use of high-frequency radio is a novel way that could come in handy in the future should the current circumstances change for any reason.
Governments in several areas like China and Zimbabwe have all attempted to control the internet. While the details on exactly how this worked are not yet out, the best thing is that it provides an alternative way to execute Bitcoin transactions, and it works.