Fears over government interference and internet surveillance have given rise to some novel experiments in sending offline transactions as somebody has transmitted bitcoin internationally by high frequency radio… through a snowstorm.
Because You Can
The experiment was nearly scuppered before it began, when nobody replied to Coinkite founder, Radolfo Novak's call for BTC recipients. Although you'd have thought that perhaps the cross-over between HAM radio and bitcoin aficionados would be fairly high.
Amateur radio is so deep-end-nerd that not even free BTC makes ppl move their arses ???? https://t.co/XPoC01NyAn— NVK (@nvk) February 11, 2019
However, the next day a suitable candidate with a software-defined-radio (SDR – basically a computer pretending to be a radio) and antenna responded.
Using an application called JS8Call, designed for sending text strings over radio frequencies, and a pre-configured brain-wallet, Novak sent a bitcoin transaction all the way from Toronto, Canada to Michigan, USA.
"Bitcoin sent over national border without internet or satellite — just nature's ionosphere," commented Bitcoin pioneer, Nick Szabo.
Because You Might Need To
Novak notes that a poorly constructed brain-wallet has safety issues, but that "in a pinch to get BTC across offline, this is pretty amazing."
A brain-wallet, of course, is where you just remember the seed phrase in your head and don't write it down anywhere. A risky venture, but handy if you are fleeing an oppressive regime with only the cl0thes on your back.