Slashdot.com reported at the weekend that Finnish national television broadcaster Digita will pioneer transmission of the Bitcoin blockchain over its network for 2 months from September 1. In so doing, the blockchain will be made available to over 95% of the Finnish population.
A press release issued Friday explained:
“The technology, coined Kryptoradio, enables merchants and consumers to receive real time P2P network transaction data with any standard Digital TV device and custom software without the requirement of Internet or mobile network connection.”
The reasons behind the move are various and have some important implications for Bitcoin accessibility and security. The blockchain has long been under scrutiny for its lack of diversity, and sending transaction details using a TV signal is the Finnish attempt to improve this.
“There have been many attempts to make Bitcoin less dependent of the public Internet,” Kryptoradio’s website continues, citing Greg Maxwell’s comments on the blockchain, namely that “alternative blockchain transports are critical to the success and survivability of the Bitcoin system.”
But security perks mark just the tip of the iceberg for the technology’s potential. Kryptoradio already foresees how “unprecedented devices and applications” could use the data stream to integrate Bitcoin in ways previously unheard of.
As all that is needed to receive the blockchain data is “any unidirectional digital transmission path with a sufficient error correction,” or in other words an adaptor capable of receiving a DVB-T signal. This means that transactions can be fulfilled without the need for an internet connection, creating for flexibility and anonymity for users. Kryptoradio adds:
“This scheme makes it easy to construct affordable receivers that do not need mobile data connections in order to follow Bitcoin traffic and to react to the received Bitcoin payments.”
Examples cited by the organizers so far include cash registers and self-service launderettes operated with coins on the customer end.
While the deal with Digita has been finalized, Kryptoradio is still appealing for funding for the project, whose maintenance costs per month are cited as roughly 2,000 Euro. The company furthermore is seeking an alternative to crowdfunding websites, stating that “Our first impression is that the available platforms are not very good either technologically or by the number of users.”
If the project is successful, a commercial stage is planned immediately following the trial, with a move outside Finland very much in Kryptoradio’s sights.
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