September 24, 2014 4:26 PM

Kryptoradio Successfully Broadcasts Bitcoin Over Finnish Television Network

Technology that could enable Internet-less Bitcoin transactions is no longer merely theoretical. A team of programmers is successfully piloting Kryptoradio, the experimental software that broadcasts Bitcoin over a national Finnish television network.


“We have received many listener reports around Finland,” project lead and Koodilehto developer Joel Lehtonen told Cryptocoins News, “so the signal is transmitted correctly in all regions of Finland.”

Developers received official approval from Digita TV, a national network, and launched the plan in July. Kryptoradio attracted the eyes and ears of the community, partially because of the hope that it would enable Bitcoin transactions in regions with patchy Internet service.

Now that the project is underway, “it is capable of sending market data now and this data is on the air in the production system,” Tuomo Sipola, another member of Koodhilehto, said. Lehtonen has installed an antenna for reception in his home. According to Sipola, other users across Finland have installed similar devices and report successful transmission.

Lehtonen described the steps the team is taking while acknowledging the work required before it can tap into a wider audience:

“Currently we broadcast Bitcoin traffic but we occasionally send some test patterns and we are planning to update to new protocol version soon which allows transmission of currency exchange data, too. So currently the broadcast is up and running, but is not yet ready for daily use.”

Kryptoradio: The Origin Story

The Finnish software co-op Koodilehto teamed up with the digital currency FIMKrypto for the experiment earlier this summer. Although they could have selected a different transaction method, like via FM radio, they landed on DVB-T because it covers the vastest area:

They harbor hopes of going global. “After a successful pilot stage our plan is to raise funds for continuous (24/7) distribution in the whole country and possibly in other parts of the world, too” the website reads. Generally, a serializer transform data into a format that can cross over a network. A deserializer transforms the data back into the original format. Kryptoradio uses this process to broadcast Bitcoin over the Finnish television network. Here’s a map of what’s going on under the hood:

Broadcasting and maintenance costs amount to approximately €2000 per month – or about $2500 – after the pilot stage. The developers accept donations, as long as it complies with the country’s Money Collection Act, which requires compensation (the radio broadcast) for payment. The address is posted on the website.

The plan is to pilot for a couple of months, and then regularly broadcast by November. Lehtonen commented on the schedule of the pilot mode, “My guess is that the system will be sending production-ready stream later this month, so we’ll have then about a month left to play with the applications.”

Photos courtesy of Wikipedia, and Kryptoradio; other images from Shutterstock.

Alyssa Hertig @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

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