Bitcoin Offline sounds crazy isn´t it? Bitcoin has already established itself in a crucial niche – digital gold. However, it’s not yet clear how Bitcoin will develop within the future and what developments and setbacks we must therefore expect. But the network has been running flawlessly for over 11 years now, and has worked from day one. Nevertheless, the bulk of individuals are quite skeptical. Various points are repeatedly made that describe Bitcoin as not a true alternative. Among them is that the dependence on the web . But how dependent is Bitcoin really on the web and what are the choices for shielding ourselves from Internet failure or censorship?
Bitcoin and therefore the dependence on the web
The further development of Bitcoin and Lightning is led by Blockstream, among others. Marketing Director Neil Woodfine has now addressed the question “What happens to BTC when the web is switched off?” and answered it via a multi-part tweet. one among his first statements within the tweet is:
A surprising number of great engineers are brooding about the way to keep Bitcoin running in offline environments.
Using Bitcoin Offline
Woodfine made it clear that by “offline transactions” he really meant “Internet-minimized” transactions, since the transaction data must ultimately always be delivered to the miners. the answer should ideally be suitable for low power environments, like within the event of a natural disaster.
Another challenge for an offline solution would be the resource requirements for operating a Bitcoin full node. The node’s processes consume about 20 gigabytes per month. consistent with Woodfine, the bandwidth capacity for “non-Internet-based, cheap, consumer-quality network options” is quite low. He added that the dimensions of the transactions wouldn’t be a drag . Each transaction fits into ~250 bytes. So he said:
It’s easy to transfer and it is easy to cover . the info cannot be stopped easily.
Blockstream satellites offer further possibilities
The use of blockstream satellites could greatly decouple Bitcoin from the web . “The satellites
float’ round the world to send Bitcoin block chain data to four geostationary satellites” round the earth. This happens before they send this data to “almost all the populated land masses of the world”. This signal are often received by relatively inexpensive equipment. All the required equipment costs nearly $100 USD and includes a typical satellite dish, an upgraded radio, and an easy computer like a Raspberry Pi.
Currently just one download is feasible , i.e. no data are often sent back. additionally , the primary synchronization must be done via the web . But this might change within the future. Woodfine made clear that you simply do not have to believe one party for this, because it seems initially . Since the Bitcoin nodes enforce their own rules for the received data, any change to the protocol would be rejected because the block chain data has already been checked by the miners and therefore the corresponding proof of labor has been applied.
Other ways to send transactions and maintain consensus with Bitcoin offline
With the assistance of WiFi rebroadcasts, one “satnode” can provide the Bitcoin block chain data to a whole area or community, and therefore the block chain also can be verified offline. When employing a mesh network like goTenna, which is integrated with the Blockstream Satellite or LoRaWAN popular in IoT applications, the local area of the “Satnode” can reliably send and receive BTC transactions. This happens by forwarding transaction data over the mesh to a mesh node connected to the web . additionally , mobile wallets could also connect during this way.
One thing is certain: there’s no ‘turning off the Internet’ with Bitcoin.
As you’ll see from Woodfine’s answer, we are still in our infancy. Bitcoin has created something completely new and unique. it’s programmable money/gold and is consistently being developed. additionally , the programmers and every one other parties involved are conscious of the risks of external influences and are already trying to seek out solutions for them. the event doesn’t stop and can need to adapt again and again. In 10 years, Bitcoin will perhaps function and be utilized in a totally different way than we will currently even imagine. it’ll remain exciting.