Dug Campbell

Bitcoin Sent Across Borders Using Radio

This is pretty amazing – a Bitcoin transaction that didn’t need the internet or satellite.

To translate, the sender used a free protocol for shortwave communications called JS8Call shortwave radio to send bitcoin. That protocol lets you connect a shortwave radio to a computer in order to send and receive shortwave-transmitted text messages between JS8Call users – with no special licence required.

You can see the transaction where the recipient took the money here if you’re interested. The sender sent the recipient his private key and the recipient used this to transfer the funds to his wallet. As an alternative, he could have prepared a signed transaction to send to the recipient who could then have broadcast that to the blockchain.

This image shows the data from the sender’s shortwave radio. These radios hear static (electromagnetic noise) continuously. The picture shows when there’s an interruption in that background noise caused by a recognisable signal – which in this case was the signal that the private key had been received.

So, why’s sending Bitcoin via radio so cool?

It’s already been sent via mesh networks and satellites. And it was only a brain wallet that was used in this proof of concept (i.e. where you just remember a seed phrase in your head – not the most secure but great if you’re running from a collapsing country or economy).

In short, it’s worth taking notice of because it’s yet another string to Bitcoin’s bow when it comes to its original superpower – censorship-resistance.