In the Bitcoin world there is always fear over interference from the government and online surveillance. Because of this, new experiments are being done, with the purpose of sending cryptocurrency offline. The newest option was sending BTC through high frequency radio, an operation done through a snowstorm.
In the past, BTC was sent through satellite and mesh networks. Then, Radolfo Novak, Coinkite founder, decided he wanted to send cryptocurrency differently. The experiment was almost scraped as no recipients were interested, although there was the thought that there was a connection between crypto aficionados and HAM radio use.
Eventually, there was a candidate that used SDR (software-defined-radio) and an antenna. Through JS8Call, an application created to send text strings through radio frequencies and a brain-wallet (pre-configured), we saw Novak managing to send BTC from Toronto to Michigan.
According to Novak, the brain-wallet that is not properly built will present safety issues. However, it can be used to send BTC offline, which was labeled as being “pretty amazing”.
In case you are not aware, the brain-wallet practically means that seed phrase is memorized and is never written down. This is quite risky but it can become handy in the event that you want to make a transaction and you are worried about security.
The use of HF/HAM radio is something that can be seen as a necessity when faced with various circumstances. There are various governments around the world that try to control internet use. Besides the well-documented case of China, there are also rumors that Russia tries to test separation from the worldwide internet, mainly for sanctions but with a trial being put in place. Even so, the fear is clear. Many post-apocalyptic movies portray a world where just HF radio can be used to communicate, so people are freaked out.
Without thinking too much about what this means, why it is a necessity and how it could be implemented in the future, we are faced with a clear experimentation going on in regards to using alternative bitcoin transaction transmission methods. This is definitely a great thing for the industry. While we are not aware of how the system works, it is clear that it does and that should be seen as the important part here, even if it is impossible to know right now how blockchain will be propagated if something drastic happens.