Connect to the Bitcoin Network with National Television Broadcast, Without the Internet

July 13, 2014 13:31 UTC

There is one major impediment global Bitcoin adoption: the Bitcoin network lives on the Internet. Right now, the Internet is only available to a small portion of world’s population.  But apparently there are other ways of connecting to the network. Thanks to Kryptoradio, users may be able to broadcast Bitcoin worldwide using national television broadcast.

Merchants and consumers will be able to connect to the network and receive transactions, with any standard digital television device. It could have interesting implications. For example, in regions where Internet access is patchy at best, like Africa.

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FIMKrypto partnered up with Koodilehto, a Finnish software firm for the project. It will first work with Bitcoin and the “quasi-national” cryptocurrency FIMKrypto.

Finland is the testing ground for the pilot project, which will launch September 1. The national network Digita covers 95% of Finnish territory and Finland’s population of over five million. After the testing period, users will be able to use it across the world, said the press release.

“Broadcasting transaction data through the radio network offers pristine ground for Bitcoin based applications” Svante Lehtinen told Cryptocoins News in an email.

More choices would be swell. More transmission media choices would be swell. Diversity is a central tenet that weaves through open software community. The Kryptoradio website quotes Bitcoin core developer Greg Maxwell:

“Alternative blockchain transports are critical to the success and survivability of the Bitcoin system.”

“Turnkey Merchant Terminals”

The technology could usher in “many interesting possibilities,” Lehtinen said, but:

Our main focus is in being able to offer simple and affordable turnkey merchant terminals, that require no software or network connection setup. Their use would be simpler and quicker than entering a sale into a cash register.

Not many businesses out there accept bitcoin. That is one key thing holding back widespread cryptocurrency adoption. Many bitcoin-commercial tools have sprung up. But why use it if it takes a bit longer than ringing up cash or credit card? Kryptoradio could offer another option for merchants.

Lehtinen continued:

The technology would also be very useful in situations where weak or unexisting mobile network coverage renders internet connections and traditional merchant card payment terminals unusable.

How It Works

Kryptoradio boasts “Bitcoin in the air” with a newfangled data transmission system for Bitcoin, utilizing national airwaves DVB-T (Digital Video Broadcasing–Terrestrial) transmitters spanning the world. As you can see in the picture above, DVB-T has worldwide support, tapping Africa covers Southeast Asia, Africa, Australia–even Greenland.

Bitcoin and FIMKrypto broadcast transaction data is encoded in a broadcast signal and forwarded to the national network.

The new technology could have a lot of interesting implications for cryptocurrencies. With Facebook drones and Google balloons hoping to spread Internet to a wider audience across the world, users may have a variety of connection options looking into the future.

Featured image by Shutterstock.

Last modified: July 14, 2014 19:01 UTC

@AlyssaHertig

Alyssa earn a B.A. in history from the University of Minnesota. She's written for Motherboard, Reason, and PolicyMic. Get in touch on Twitter: @AlyssaHertig