HI. I HEARD YOU HAVE EXTRA BANDWIDTH.
Why not let people around you connect and help pay your bill?
This January marks the 1 year anniversary of the BitMesh project. Lot’s of things have happened, but we’ll keep it short and sweet.
We are open sourcing BitMesh: https://github.com/adonley/BMesh
I know, I know “it was supposed to be open source from the beginning”. You’re right, okay? You’re right. We arrived at this decision only after quite a bit of oscillation on the matter, pulled as we were in various directions by desire for personal happiness, monetary profit, venture capital, sustainability of the project, and most of all human freedom with and thru the internet. In the end, it turned out to be too big of a project for just two engineers, a businessman and a designer. That being said, we got pretty far, and we’re mostly proud of what we did. We want to open it up to the community now. Thank you for all the support in the past. Now, we need your help to make this flourish.
Stack: NanoHttp, Bitcore, Bitcoin
Micro-transaction platform – modular code makes it relatively simple to sell something other than the internet, e.g. power, files, etc.
Captive portal – we ended up just making our own captive portal, abused the WISPr protocol a bit to make continuous micropayments work in the background
Works on Linux machines. Unfortunately, Windows forces you to put a password on your softap network and apple NAT isn’t straight forward.
PATH FORWARD FOR DEVELOPMENT:
1) Upgrade micropayment channels to BIP65 (CheckLockTimeVerify) – this will actually simplify the code quite a bit.
2) Captive portal – it works for a variety of devices, but not all devices.
3) Make it work with 802.11s (meshing protocol)
4) Put it on a drone, park it at strategic points and profit by making the internet grow.
5) Get around stupid Windows restrictions on creating unlocked wifi networks (Miniport softap specification)
6) Get it to work with Mac (This requires a great deal of reverse engineering)
7) Do routing for Windows and Mac
We spent a lot of time thinking about the business and social consequences of building this, partly due to the many conversations with investors. It’s kind of a chicken and egg problem: you need internet to use Bitcoin, you need money to pay for the internet. We originally started the project because we were excited about mesh nets and wanted a way to get people to share their internet. It was Joe White of ElectroLoom that originally suggested to me that we could use cryptocurrency to incentivize the meshnet. From there we built a prototype, Andrew got into the Boost VC Bitcoin accelerator, we built another prototype in Java that later turned into our current release. As we converged on a product and business plan, we ran into a lot of criticism from different arenas. Meshnets are generally slow. Telecoms will never let you do this. Nobody has Bitcoin. Why don’t you just use credit cards? What’s your go to market strategy?
To which we replied: Stop thinking in dichotomies, it’s about how meshy are you, not whether your mesh bit is set Telecoms may actually benefit from this. Routers could be configured to pay a portion of their profits to every party in the supply chain. LTEDirect is an emerging “meshy” technology for offloading bandwidth to peers during congestion. Also they may not have much of a choice, the genie is out of the bottle now. Credit cards have a high minimum payment, are subject to fraudulent charge backs, are not global, require a bank account, require a third party for the seller to accept. Also, fiat currency is a ponzi scheme. We thought Buenos Aires seemed to have just the right mix of techno-savvy-population, not-great-internet, mistrust-of-local-currency to test our business hypothesis. We never made it there, because we split up over a disagreement about how the business should be run. C’est la vie.
Anyway, that’s long enough. Special shout out to the project by Andreas Antonopoulos, Wifiportal21 that runs on OpenWRT routers.
On Native Bitcoin Apps, Open Source Communities, and What Happened Before Satoshi Nakamoto Vanished, a16z 7/27/2015
Startups Adopt Blockchain to Disrupt Big Industry, Verizon Ventures 6/9/2015
What are Micropayments and How does Bitcoin Enable Them?, Coin Center 6/3/2015
10 Bitcoin Industry Sectors Providing Killer Apps, Brave New Coin 5/28/2015
Bandwidth for Bitcoin: BitMesh Displays Working Prototype, Coin Telegraph 4/9/2015
Bandwidth For Bitcoin, Brave New Coin 4/3/2015
Interview With Chris Smith Of BitMesh, The Merkle 4/1/2015
BitMesh to Launch Demo Soon, Coin Buzz 3/30/2015
BitMesh: Revolutionizing Internet Access With Bitcoin, The Merkle 3/29/2015
Why BitMesh Could Become the Uber of ISPs, Coin Telegraph 2/11/2015
Got extra bandwidth? Share it for Bitcoin rewards, Silicon Angle 2/3/2015