A new video on YouTube shows a Wi-Fi hotspot that anyone can connect to, as long as they pay for the privilege – in bitcoin.
This means that anyone with a connection to the internet could share their connection with complete strangers in exchange for bitcoins, Cyptocoinsnews says.
While the setup looks fairly basic at the moment, the ease with which a connection could be acquired from complete strangers, and paid for digitally, could turn this work-in-progress into reality.
According to CCN, the Bitcoin Wi-Fi hotspot is based on a Rasberry Pi. The small, cheap computer is plugged into a home router, and a Wi-Fi antenna enables it to share that Internet connection with anyone else within the antenna’s range. When someone on another computer attempts to connect to the hotspot, they’ll be prompted with a message requesting a Bitcoin payment before they can access the Internet.
The current demo already allows for payments for various time frames, such as a few hours or a few days, but it’s possible that payment channels could improve options for Bitcoin Wi-Fi users even further.
Mesh networks are not expanding much further than a link between neighbours or a few strangers in the park, because there is not much of an incentive for people to join.
Implementing this system on a larger scale could create the right incentives for people to allow others to connect easily to their devices for the purposes of routing traffic to someone else, CCN adds. These kinds of mesh networks would likely start on a small scale in larger cities, but it is unknown how large they could grow once people realize they can get paid for routing traffic on a new, decentralized network.
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