Over the last few years Bitcoin has “infiltrated” the financial world on more and more levels. The ideal will be for Bitcoin to be just another currency we use in our normal financial dealings. A new project, called BitMesh, is aiming to make this ideal a reality and has been called the “Uber of internet service providers.” It is also described as a decentralize platform that allows people to use basic devices to share their internet.
It basically pays people in Bitcoin for sharing their internet bandwidth. The main brains behind the concept are Andrew Donley, Chris Smith and Chris Lunoe, who initially only messed around by creating a meshnet over a weekend. The “messy mesh” turned into a viable and downright great idea.
A working prototype that one can easily install on a Raspberry Pi, was released some months ago. This allows clients to connect to the system and establishes the link necessary for payment between clients and the Bitcoin server. The amount of “use” a client can get from the applicable bandwidth sharing is determined by the server, and the internet connectivity amount given to a specific client is linear to the amount paid by them. This manner of operation allows BitMesh to cut out the middleman when matching up servers and clients, by using a “marketplace” type of setting to get the best deal for the both “buyer” and “seller.” It is a friendly, easy and more robust environment for people looking to “trade” with their internet, where demand regulates the pricing model.
Bitcoin tech to the rescue
In the past, people have not been very keen to use systems like BitMesh, because there was no real reward for doing so. However, because Bitcoin can process small transactions in a speedy and effective manner, allows clients to only pay for the internet they used up until that point and to resell paid-for bandwidth that was not used, it is a new big incentive. BitMesh also poses the perfect solution for people that find it difficult to get access to internet, e.g. tourists. Now, clients can do a quick Bitcoin payment from anywhere in the world and have internet available immediately. This can lead to people depending on BitMesh completely for all their internet needs, save money and keep people permanently connected. The best part is that people can connect without using a username and/or password and can start using the internet the moment they are connected to a BitMesh Wi-Fi spot. There are also no contracts or other financial commitments one has to enter into before using the service, making it ideal for those hating giving out personal information at random.
How it works?
Every person that buys internet using Bitcoin connects to a BitMesh Wi-Fi connection close to them, which is provided by a client and functions by using the BitMesh app. The app also manages direct payments between parties, where the party who wants to buy internet specifies how much internet he/she wants to use and pay accordingly or, just pay afterwards for the amount of internet used. The Bitcoin server also measures the amount of internet used and the amount of internet remaining with a captive portal.
Another big perk is that clients do not have to purchase any fancy tech equipment. They can just use their current smartphones and/or routers to provide their fellow man with internet. It can be compared with other Bitcoin platforms, eg JoyStream, where users paid Bitcoin amounts for network activities such as leeching torrents, as well as platforms like Skype Wi-Fi.
Currently, there are a few Silicon Valley Investors very much interested in investing in the current prototype. This is a big step ahead, since, even though investors familiar with Bitcoin type investments, the Bitcoin concept can rapidly expand if tycoons from other computer fields start showing interest and put their money where their mouths are. At the moment Boost VC, a huge Bitcoin venture capital firm, incubates BitMesh. Among other interested investors, is the security expert and host of the podcast series, “Let’s talk Bitcoin,” Andreas, M Antonopolous, who describes BitMesh as “amazing,” emphasizing that people have been waiting for this development for a long time.
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