Finally: An Offline Crypto Wallet
Perhaps the biggest weakness of any Blockchain or even Blockchain-like network has been that they require constant access to the internet. In that internet network failures can and will happen, various companies in the space have been examining alternative roads to connecting to the Blockchain.
GoTenna, a company that primarily builds structures called mesh networks, has partner with a Crypto wallet company called Samourai Wallet to develop and introduce a product this year that will allow users to send and receive Bitcoin without any internet connection.
If this product works consistently, then it could be a breakthrough for the industry as it is not clear at this time if any other companies are close to doing this. Reportedly, it all begins with a device to device connection that is free of the internet, which is the definition of a mesh network.
It should be understood, though, that it is not as easy as syncing two devices of any kind, together. GoTenna requires that users involve their mobile devices as well as a GoTenna device. In addition to this, each connection between a GoTenna device and an “outside” mobile device reportedly costs $179.
GoTenna’s self-stated vision includes being able to spend crypto in any time and in any place, even if all infrastructure is knocked out. It was already around and operational during the onset of and initial recovery related to the Puerto Rico disaster. Supposedly, during that time, it proved quite helpful to people.
Even so, there are several “ifs” that need to be answered. Why is the $179 cost necessary, especially for a crypto project? It seems to show a certain level of centralization related to rent seeking. Secondly, what exactly is a GoTenna device and how is it involved in the transaction process? Last but not least, does the company plan to move away from requiring proprietary devices to form mesh networks in the future? It will be interesting to watch this project move forward towards its next major use case.