Crypto developer Daniel Jones claims to have performed the first completely off-grid cryptocurrency transaction using a solar panel for energy, shortwave radio to send the signal, and a portable hard drive. Jones calls this new method Proof of Life, and it could have beneficial applications during disasters when internet and electricity grids go down.
— "Daniel Jones" (@nixops) September 16, 2018
A major deficiency of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is their dependence on electricity and internet. Bitcoin and crypto are rendered unusable if power or internet goes out, except for the most prepared users that have generators and satellite internet. There are many natural disasters that can cause electricity and internet to go down to varying degrees, including thunderstorms, floods, blizzards, ice storms, hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes, volcanoes, geomagnetic storms, asteroid impacts, war, or even technical problems.
In the worst-case disaster scenario, when the power grid is decimated and the internet grid is wrecked, a scheme like Proof of Life may be the only thing that keeps crypto networks functioning. The solar power provides unlimited energy, and the shortwave radio probably doesn’t need much energy for sending a transaction. Jones used the Burst cryptocurrency, since it’s open source and easy to interact with for developers, and sent 1 Burst worth USD 0.01.
This might not sound impressive but there is no reason this radio transaction technique can’t be adapted to Bitcoin or major altcoins, and then be used to sustain international finance during and after a devastating global disaster. In fact, this Proof of Life technique would give Bitcoin a major edge over fiat, for which no technique like this would be possible.
Sending crypto transactions with radio signals not only has applications for disasters but also for using crypto in space. By far the best way to send data into space is with radio, since radio waves are long enough not to get attenuated by space debris like meteorites. As Bitcoin News speculated, if humans were to inhabit other planets in our solar system, a method to send Bitcoin with radio would be necessary, and Proof of Life sounds like the first evolution of that method.
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