Bitcoins get airborne in Finland

    Bitcoins are getting broadcast to TVs everywhere in Finland. Well, not exactly, but a new project called Kryptoradio is starting to use Finnish TV station Digia’s DVB-T transmitters to transmit bitcoin transactions, blocks, and currency exchange rates in real time. The pilot is now in place, allowing 95% of Finland’s population to get unidirectional bitcoin information without an internet connection.

    Why they would go through the trouble of doing this is the next natural question, but they say on the project page their motivations are to help facilitate unprecedented applications of bitcoins, and also to make the bitcoin network more resistant if the public internet ever gets some hiccups.

    With the technology in place it would then be easy to start constructing off-internet affordable receivers that can react to incoming payments. “This would make it possible to build bitcoin counterpart for cash payment terminals, anything from a cash register to a coin operated self-service laundry. If the receiver application follows only transactions relevant to itself, it will be possible to build it using even an ARM microcontroller,” they write on their website.

    Krytoradio has already found a partner to get them up and running for two months, which started on the 1st of September, but they’re looking for sponsors to contribute to their €2000 a month maintenance costs.

    During this pilot they’re welcoming anyone to develop applications using Kryptradio. To help promote it Koodilehto, the company behind Kryptradio, is throwing a developers meeting at Helsingin Kaupunkivertas Sunday beginning at 10:00.

    Currently the alternative to Krytoradio for vending machines or payment terminals would be to plug in to a mobile data connection. Will a “free”, over the air transmission be one less friction to build a new generation of devices?

    TV tower photo by shutterstock