One of the benefits of decentralization is that you can build “censorship-resistant” applications.
The best example of that is Bitcoin, a store and transfer of value system that governments can’t interfere with.
Censorship resistant money, as it were.
But if these transactions are going across a wire that is controlled by the government or some other censor (Apple, Google, Facebook, etc), then you haven’t really accomplished your goal.
Enter mesh networks.
Yesterday, our portfolio company GoTenna, which makes a popular and inexpensive mesh networking device, announced something pretty interesting, a mobile app called TxTenna that will allow off grid Bitcoin transactions.
From that blog post:
Today we are pleased to announce that the Samourai team took our suggestion, and went well beyond our expectations! The result is the TxTenna app.
A transaction using the TxTenna app works as follows: Using the Samourai Wallet app the user creates a standard bitcoin transaction and signs it. This is possible while offline and without wifi or mobile access.The Samourai Wallet app then passes the offline transaction to the TxTenna App and TxTenna broadcasts it to nearby mesh nodes via a paired goTenna mesh device. Other goTenna devices in the area relay the transaction until an internet connected goTenna node also running TxTenna receives it and forwards it to the Bitcoin network.
I am excited to see the TxTenna app come to market in the coming months, but more than that, I am excited by the idea of the possibility of off-grid crypto transactions. I think they are necessary in theory and possibly in reality.