Crypto Wallet Samourai, GoTenna Partner To Enable Bitcoin Transactions Without Internet

Announcements, Innovation | May 22, 2018 By:

Brooklyn-based startup GoTenna has teamed with privacy-centric bitcoin wallet Samourai to create an an app that combines mesh networking with bitcoin transactions.

GoTenna designs and develops technologies for off-grid and decentralized communications. GoTenna devices pair with smartphones and, through intelligent mobile ad hoc networking protocols, enable users to send texts and share locations on a peer-to-peer basis, foregoing the need for centralized communications infrastructure of any kind.

Samourai is a mobile bitcoin wallet for Android devices. It has been focusing on censorship resistance and privacy-oriented tools since it began in 2015. Samourai is the only wallet to randomize the number of change outputs for each send, making gathering wallet address metadata more difficult. It also parses all previous transactions before building a new transaction to make sure it isn’t leaking valuable metadata.

Together, the two companies created a solution that allows users to trade bitcoin when not connected to the web. Called Txtenna, the app is meant to enable a more resilient, censorship-resistant and decentralized network for when the Internet is inaccessible. It works by creating a channel between the Samourai wallet and the GoTenna mesh device. GoTenna said the signal needs to be within roughly a mile of another device to relay the message across the mesh network.

A transaction using the TxTenna app works as follows: Using the Samourai wallet app the user creates a standard bitcoin transaction and signs it. This is possible while offline and without wifi or mobile access. The Samourai wallet app then passes the offline transaction to the TxTenna app and TxTenna broadcasts it to nearby mesh nodes via a paired GoTenna mesh device. Other goTenna devices in the area relay the transaction until an Internet connected GoTenna node also running TxTenna receives it and forwards it to the bitcoin network.

Richard Myers, decentralized applications engineer at Gotenna, said that currently the bitcoin peer-to-peer network relies heavily on ISPs for Internet connectivity. A few large corporations run these services, many of which are regional or national monopolies

“These companies have a track record of putting commercial interests above net neutrality, as they did in 2007/2008 for example, when Comcast secretly throttled BitTorrent traffic,” Myers said. “These systems are centralized, making them fragile during natural and manmade disasters.”

Samourai CEO SW said they believe one of the most fundamental value propositions that bitcoin provides is censorship resistance

“The freedom to transact freely and without permission is not a freedom to take lightly, or give up without a fight,” SW said. “We saw the open internet transform into a walled garden, captured by regulatory and corporate interest working together — and largely aided by red-herrings like net-neutrality.”