I find mesh networks a really interesting topic as of late. With all the censorship we see today, I believe this will be the ultimate answer. While we predominantly see VPN usage in places like China today, I think it is only a matter of time before their government cracks down on it and a more resilient solution is needed. I am also very interested in what Elon Musk is up to with starlink,... Will it simply be a "dumb" access point to the www or will it employ something more exciting?
"Payments to mesh relays and internet gateways are prepaid by the data sender and are only valid if the destination node returns a secret value created by the sender. This ensures that relay nodes are only paid for successfully delivered data. Destination nodes also earn value when they confirm they received data to ensure they cooperate in settling transactions."
It is innovations like this that will give Bitcoin traction.
Of course, to use the mesh network you will need some bitcoin for payment. And that's huge.
But also huge is the mesh provider side.
Years ago, bitcoin mining helped spur adoption because it let techies around the world to leverage their skill to earn bitcoin. Mesh networking, for profit, will involve several orders of magnitude more individuals than bitcoin mining. An individual with limited technical skill even can be a provider, and compete (on price) with any commercial mesh offering the same.
“The dedicated Bitcoin user community has a real need and strong desire for resilient communications alternatives, and we’re excited to work with the community to test and improve our ideas. Our ultimate goal is to create a global incentivized mesh network. We’re just getting started.”
– Richard Myers, goTenna engineer and the author of the Lot49 protocol whitepaper
By creating Global Mesh Labs and open-sourcing its Lot49 protocol, goTenna will partner with developers and Bitcoin enthusiasts to build on its innovation in the mesh networking space. The protocol also allows users to pay each other directly instead of transacting through a centralized ISP or mobile carrier.
This is actually the only reason I was semi-interested in Skycoin/Skywire; but if these guys are willing to build around the BTC network, even better.
If this scales than we will have the infrastructure we should have had at least 5 years ago: awesome work, guys!