TxTenna — the joint venture between Samourai Wallet and the GoTenna mesh network — is scheduled to launch soon and will enable offline Bitcoin transactions through GoTenna’s mesh network. The result is the ability to send Bitcoin transactions without an Internet connection.
Samourai Wallet is an open-source wallet software focusing on increasing user privacy and security. Their Alpha wallet access is currently available. GoTenna is a lightweight device that pairs with your smartphone for connecting through a mesh network of UHF radio waves.
A Joint Venture
The purpose of the joint venture between Samourai Wallet and GoTenna — TxTenna — is to provide an entirely new avenue for Bitcoin transactions.
GoTenna’s mesh network was initially designed for users to message each other in remote outdoor locations without having mobile service or an Internet connection. It works by users pairing their smartphones with a handheld GoTenna device that connects to nearby nodes through UHF radio waves that can send and receive data. These nodes exist in a peer-to-peer (P2P) network where connection routing is determined by the GoTenna protocol. Messages can hop between users in the mesh network that are within range, and eventually, the message will reach a GoTenna node that is connected to the Internet which can then propagate the transaction across the Bitcoin network and return the confirmation message to the original GoTenna device.
The concept of using mesh networks for propagating Bitcoin transactions offline is not new. In 2017, Nick Szabo and Elaine Ou published a proposal that described how radio transmissions could be used to boost security and diversity of connections across the Bitcoin network. Samourai Wallet and GoTenna teamed up to accomplish precisely that with TxTenna, the beginnings of a P2P Bitcoin mesh network built on radio transmissions.
The subsequent effects of propagating transactions in this manner are increased privacy and the ability to enable off-grid signed transaction broadcasts from the Samourai Wallet. The implications of this are enormous as it creates an entirely new medium for propagating Bitcoin transactions and improves both privacy and security. Yassine Elmandjra provides an excellent analysis of the general concept of what TxTenna is striving to achieve.
Samourai Wallet was already a wallet focused on privacy and security for Bitcoin transactions, implementing some innovative features such as PayNyms and Richochet. According to Samourai, with PayNyms:
“A broadcast transaction will be sent to the blockchain that creates a unique 1-1 connection between both your wallet and the contact’s wallet. This private connection allows you to deterministically generate bitcoin addresses for the contact that are only known to you both.”
Ricochet enables increased transaction fungibility by adding additional hops between destinations to add costs and overhead to entities looking to trace transactions on the blockchain.
TxTenna has some powerful long-term consequences and potential. GoTenna devices for TxTenna are available to buy now, and you can download the Samourai Wallet through their site. With Bitcoin privacy consistently improving, TxTenna represents another major step forward for the legacy cryptocurrency.