TxTenna: transactions without internet

Wallet developers at Samourai Wallet, in collaboration with goTenna, have developed an application – called TxTenna – that allows sending bitcoin transactions without a direct internet connection. For this they use a mesh network, where data is sent peer-to-peer.

Mesh network

Almost everyone uses the internet. This is possible through an ISP, an internet service provider, that ensures that you can surf the world wide web. These ISPs are therefore central parties that in theory and in practice, such as the abolition of net neutrality in America, can determine what is accessible on the Internet.

This is different with mesh networks. No central party is used to share data, but everyone is directly connected with each other. This is similar to Bitcoin’s peer-to-peer network, where nodes also communicate directly with each other. It is therefore more difficult to apply censorship with a mesh network. Data, such as a bitcoin transaction, can be sent directly from node to node without having to use the internet. These nodes can be small devices that fit in your pocket or antennas on top of buildings. All devices that have the ability to send and receive a signal could theoretically be used for this.

The nodes can also simply connect to an ISP if desired. When a node has no connection to an ISP, a bitcoin transaction can be sent via the mesh network to the nearest node. Does this node also not have a connection to the internet? Then it forwards it to the next node. This is repeated until the bitcoin transaction has reached a node that can send the data to the internet.


To be able to use the GoTenna mesh network, and therefore the application, specific hardware must be purchased; the gotenna Mesh. Perhaps in the future it will be possible to use the application for other mesh networks as well, so that there is no longer any dependence on one supplier.

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