Mobile mesh networking company, goTenna researches how, with the help of bitcoin’s lightning network, mobile communications can be decentralized. New startup believes bitcoin could one-day power mobile communications.

A novel approach is being taken by goTenna, the company behind mesh network devices for internet-less connections, on how to use cryptocurrencies and blockchains to build programs where users are more in control of their data. 

The goTenna team has released a new paper which describes how decentralized mesh networks for sending “mobile communications” (such as text messages) could be powered by bitcoin micropayments. To move forward with this goal, they’ve establised a new subsidiary, Global Mesh Labs LLC.

The project website states:

“80 billion mobile messages are sent each day via carriers and [Internet Service Providers (ISPs)]. Mobile mesh networks offer an anti-fragile, decentralized alternative that can extend connectivity to places centralized networks can’t.”

The paper argues that a challenge to mesh network adoption is that people do not have any incentive to run the infrastructure required to relay data across the network. Attempts have been made by goTenna to fix that. They are thinking of using Lot49, what is described as a new “trust-minimized” protocol with bitcoin’s lightning at the center. This would pay users for relaying data.

New startup believes bitcoin could one-day power mobile communications. This is further explained in the paper, written by goTenna engineer Richard Myers:

“Any node can earn a reward for relaying data for others and by being at the right place at the right time.”

“To reduce incentive protocol overhead we propose using signature aggregation, simplex payment channel updates and payment channels formed between mesh nodes within direct communication range.” 

The proposal depends on a couple of bitcoin proposals that have not yet been incorporated, but have been widely discussed: Schnorr and sighash_noinput. If the bitcoin community agrees that they are good changes to make, before building and trying out the protocol, these procedures must be added.

A much-anticipated, new bitcoin signature scheme that was first proposed years ago, has seen progress recently through the release of test code. One of such scheme’s is called Schnorr.

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