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These Devs Found a Way to Send Crypto in Times of Disasters

These Devs Found a Way to Send Crypto in Times of Disasters 101
Source: iStock/nopow

If you ever wonder how you can send and/or receive cryptocurrency in times of disasters, a group of developers have an answer for you.

This group claim to have completed the first off-grid cryptocurrency transaction using blockchain and shortwave radios as well as solar power.

All they used was a portable hard drive, a solar battery pack, a shortwave radio, and a lot of technical knowledge. Additionally, they used open-source cryptocurrency Burst for the transaction, where it was recorded on its blockchain without the need for any power or data connections.

Although all the things used in this transaction, dubbed Proof of Life, can be bought in an electronic store, doing this yourself is not as simple as it might seem. Radio operators must hold a license, so you will need to prove your expertise, both technical and legal, in using shortwave radios to obtain one.

One of the developers, Daniel Jones, tweeted:

The whole project that made the transaction possible is a submission for the Call For Code challenge - a competition in which developers create technologies that can be used during natural disasters. This off-grid technology is not just meant to be used for sending cryptocurrencies - it also guarantees the ability to send immutable information all over the world without relying on the grid. For example, victims of disasters could communicate with the outside world, making rescue operations and getting help much more efficient.

“During a disaster, either natural or manmade (war), there could be cases where you may need to verify someone is who they claim to be but without being able to see them. Using crypto in this sense, the wallet was assigned to someone who sent a transaction with the fee to show the target wallet they were "alive" [...] This gives us a strong verification start that someone is alive. In a war torn environment you may not want to disclose location, in this case I can still deliver a message and not disclose location. I can in doing so notify my loved ones that I am ok, but am forced to use another method of disclosing that information,” Daniel Jones or u/nixops, explained on Reddit.

He continued, “This was a one of scenario and is not intended to be something to recommend to use in a day to day fashion, but in a dire straits scenario this could prove to a loved one they are still alive.” He also adds that everything was done in compliance and with licensed operators, and that the transaction had nothing to do with business, but “instead was a multi factor verification of Proof of Life.”

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