We just announced an update to the txtenna-python code that lets it work with a completely offline Bitcoin fullnode. For details on how to test this new functionality check-out the updated code and README file.
I also talk about some of the motivation for this kind of satellite/mesh gateway in my article for In The Mesh: “How to mesh the world: GoTenna Mesh + TxTenna + Blockstream Satellites”
Blockstream operates a service that broadcasts the Bitcoin blockchain to almost the entire planet, and for free anyone can receive this information from an inexpensive dish that you can put together for around $100 in parts. Blockstream’s blog post about this collaboration includes some links about how to setup a receiver: “goTenna with Blockstream Satellite”
Even if you’re not interested in Bitcoin transactions, I can think of some interesting uses for Blockstream’s API data interface. This lets anyone on the internet send data over the Blocksat system to a receiver located anywhere in the world. The goTenna Mesh then lets you rebroadcast that data to a local community mesh network.
This system could be a way to stay connected to the world after a natural disaster. Isolated communities can use it to receive information from friends and family living in more connected places. It could also potentially provide an important source of uncensored information for people living in oppressive regimes.
I’m curious what the wider mesh community thinks about this collaboration. What do you see as other uses beyond Bitcoin transaction broadcasting?