Bitcoin messaging app

Freedom of speech is one of the most cherished values and fundamental rights in existence. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. Though a there exists private censorship and significant part of the world’s population is concerned with their privacy.

Unlike current opinion - Internet censorship is enforced by both legal and technical means. Consequently different ways and filtering methods have appeared, such as IP blocking, DNS poisoning, URL keyword filtering and limited packet content filtering, сonnections utilizing secure transport protocols, such as SSL VPN, IPsec and the like, that could be used to avoid censorship.

Among the filtering method we should mention one of the latest development of Krzysztof Okupski - а computer science student in the Netherlands, who has created a cheap and censorship-resistant messaging service built on top of the bitcoin blockchain. As it is known, Bitcoin is a decentralized digital cryptocurrency, and Krzysztof Okupski proposed to utilize it as an anti-censorship tool.

Using a combination of techniques with the explicit goal of being as cost-efficient as possible, Okupski has possibly developed the cheapest method for broadcasting messages over the bitcoin blockchain to date. The developer believes that one day his invention will help to come over restrictions on freedom of speech. Since Bitcoin is a gaining popularity currency, its combination with anti-censorship system will force any government to accept it, because abandoning it might not be very smart.

How does it work?

The basic idea of the software is ordinary. The service connects to the user’s local Bitcoin Core wallet, and recirculates funds within it. To transmit messages, the software insert data in the fundamental building blocks of each transactions, such as signatures, public keys and even transacted amounts. The broadcaster needs to pay mining fees in the process, but no significant amount of bitcoin is lost. The results of the research showed that the cost rate is approximately 16 satoshis per inserted byte.

To be able to read the message, user need to have the same software, together with so called “identifier” provided by the author of the text, which defines what part of the blockchain should be read.

Another interesting attribute of the project is the ability to chain messages together. Whenever a new message is published, it can be chained to the previous one.

At the moment the project is put on hold, since the software is only at the proof of concept stage.

It should also be mentioned that broadcasts are not necessarily untraceable. Users who know what to look for should be able to decrypt messages from the blockchain even without identifier. Although broadcasters cannot be censored, they are not expected to be anonymous.

The main advantage of this software, that it is the most cheapest and most efficient among already existing ones, while other alternatives create unspendable outputs and make this transaction type limited. Now you can use bitcoin blockchain for purposes other than transferring funds.

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