GoTenna, a mobile mesh networking company conducted a research that explores the way mobile communications with the help of Bitcoin’s lightning network can be decentralized.

Scientists have long searched for ways on how to use Blockchain and cryptocurrencies to build programs and apps where the users have greater control over their data. GoTenna, the organisation behind mesh network devices for non-internet connections, is behind this novel approach.

With respect to that, the GoTenna team has released a paper explaining how decentralized mesh networks for sending “digital communications” (for instance text messages) may possibly be powered by bitcoin micropayments. In addition, they have created a new subsidiary called Global Mesh Labs LLC to take concrete steps towards this goal.

“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 project’s official website states.

One stumbling block to the adoption of mesh network is that the general public is not adequately incentivized to run the infrastructure needed to relay data through the network, the paper claims. GoTenna tries to fix that by providing a new “trust-minimized” protocol using bitcoin’s lightning at the center, which would be called Lot49. It would incentivize users for relaying data on the network.

“Any node can earn a reward for relaying data for others and by being at the right place at the right time,” the paper, written by Richard Myers GoTenna engineer.

The proposal is dependent on a few bitcoin proposals that have been widely deliberated, but have not yet been integrated: sighash noinput and Schnorr. Before trying out building the protocol, these things need to be included. If the bitcoin community comes to an understanding that they’re good changes to make.

One of them is Schnorr, a higly anticipated, new bitcoin signature system that was first recommended years ago, and has seen significant progress lately thanks to the announcement of the test code.

“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,” explains the paper.


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