Finnish national broadcaster will transmit blockchain over terrestrial digital TV network


#1

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#2

Linux, IRC, SILC,… if you want some innovation, leave it to Finns.

And Angry Birds. Don’t forget Angry Birds!

…and when you want to not have it anymore, let an American corporate manager take over. Farewell, Nokia.


#3

This is the most useful thing I’ve heard of since the canned can opener


#5

Naw, in this case, it’s more like the self-canning can opener.


#6

Can someone explain why this matters?


#7

A nationwide pilot project for testing the feasibility of an alternative communication channel for a currency independent on the whims of Central Banks? A hedge against Weimar-style hyperinflation risk, albeit so far infinitesimally small, with euro?

Syncing the blockchain is a fairly data-intensive operation, over time. Having near-realtime updates without incurring data-transfer related costs (whether in money or in the need to maintain the bandwidth and connectivity) can be a crucial enabler in many applications, especially in not-so-often used distributed micropayment systems.


#8

Wait, whaaaaat? Isn’t the blockchain a fairly enormous amount of data? And they’re going to modulate it onto an FM TV carrier? A few months indeed.


#9

The blockchain size is abour 20 GB as of now. Not that much enormous, although fairly big.

The DVB-T standard provides several available bitrates, a calculator is here. Let’s assume a 2.5 megabits/second channel, say 312 kilobytes/second, which gives us roughly 18 hours per transfer of the entire blockchain.

However, we need to transfer only the differences, most of the data stays unchanged, we’re just appending to its end. By multiplexing old and new data we can end up with a system that goes in full sync in a day or three, while being near-realtime responsive to changes.


#10

Aha they have digital TV? I thought that was just American boondoggle. Well at least somebody found a use for it!


#11

Yes, but what exactly does the blockchain do ? In all the chatter I’ve read about bitcoins, this is the first time I’ve heard it come up.


#12

It’s an European thing as well. And Chinese. And everywhere else, only the standards differ. The original article includes a color map of the standards over the world.

The blockchain is the list of all the transactions ever performed within the Bitcoin system, a core mechanism of its internal integrity.


#13

That blockshain’s not just boring stuff…


#14

The short answer is: “It doesn’t.”

The longer answer is given on their website. To expand on that:

  1. Bitcoin value is directly linked to how many people buy into it. The more people are aware it exists, the more people will buy into it, the more Bitcoin is worth and the more legitimate it looks, the more people buy into it.

  2. Bitcoin is still considered shady as shit, so this is a PR move to promote transparency. There’s also the added benefit that broadcasting Bitcoin transactions in real time might make it harder to cheat the system (the synchronization thing mentioned in another post).

  3. I can imagine opportunistic assh…er…promising young entrepreneurs taking advantage of this to offer a variety of Bitcoin-stream-related services (smart phone apps, etc).

Essentially, if you thought Bitcoin was a good idea, you can view this as a step toward solving one of the system’s many, many technical problems. If you thought it was a ridiculous waste of computing resources, better spent on practically anything else (including the search for intelligent alien life), then you’ll be glad to know it’ll cost 2000 Euros per month.


#15

Bitcoin in general is the chindogu of money


#16

I guess I’m glad it costs 2000 Euros a month? Not sure I understand why I’m glad about it costing “real” money on top of the other bits. :laughing:


#17

How much bandwidth is required? If it’s 20 Mb/s, then it’s almost certainly a waste. If it’s a less than ahundred kilobits a second, it’s more excusable.


#18

Since your converter link is empty, here’s one that folks can play with: DVB-T bitrate calculator.

Since this data is bit-important (unlike a TV picture), we should p’bly assume max error correction and guard duration…looks more like a data rate of around 10Mbps, or about 1250KBps.

Still a lot of work to do with this. The biggies seem to be Serial traffic signing. The receiver needs to be sure that the data has not been forged, and Receiver application (deserializer and DVB receiver). Does this herald a new threat vector, the “Tower In The Middle” attack? ; -)


#19

The problem is that I don’t know what that means. Maybe I should have said “explain it like I’m five.”

Specifically, I don’t understand the value of an “alternative communications channel.” It sounds like you’re saying that, in the event that the entire global internet is somehow shut down or locked down, Bitcoin will remain free and unfettered by The Man thanks to plucky Finnish cable TV, which will somehow be accessible across the globe despite all the mustache-twirling efforts of the hypothetical tyrannical global government.

I assume that’s not actually what you’re saying, because it’s absurd, but I don’t have enough data to figure out what you are saying.

Okay, you did mention that syncing the blockchain without eating your personal bandwidth is valuable. I can see that it would be convenient, but blockchain updates can’t be that big; Googling suggests that entire blockchain, from Bitcoin’s inception to right now, is about 20GB, and I could download that in a few hours on my home broadband. People wealthy enough to use Bitcoin in the first place aren’t gonna be stuck on dial-up.


#20

I figure if they can stream Bitcoin, then I can stream irony.


#21

So, if I’m reading this correctly, if I want to conduct a bitcoin transaction, and I want to be sure I’m not being ripped off, I need to access this 20GB block of data with my computer to verify the integrity of the transaction. Is that about right? I’m guessing the math is equivalent whether it’s to buy a house or a candy bar.