Samourai wallet, who is one of the pioneers in ensuring privacy while storing and transacting Bitcoins, have announced a new app. Named Pony Direct, the app is a transaction method which allows to send Bitcoin through the power of short messaging service, or SMS, in short, in order to circumnavigate through governmental bans and blockages.
Samourai Wallet T Dev D announced the use of the app by saying that Pony Direct can be used to forward Bitcoin through SMS even when oppressive governments block or turn off the internet. By simply sending an SMS to any internet-connected and cooperative Android device would get around government censorship in the region where the sender is located.
Excited to release a proof of concept app as part of ongoing R&D into alternative broadcasting methods to enhance censorship resistance. PonyDirect can be used to send transactions to the bitcoin network via SMS or act as a SMS relay for others. https://t.co/MQqFlPq4na pic.twitter.com/zAo3uDCU3N
— Samourai Wallet (@SamouraiWallet) January 19, 2018
According to T Dev D, Pony Direct was developed in house as a proof-of-concept application and with the ultimate intention of the app getting open-sourced to allow community and developer participation in the app project as well as the Mule Tools project as a whole. In order to be community friendly, the app is already available on Github.
A favorite move of governments around the world, blocking internet access is an highly efficient way to control the flow of information and control protestors and dissidents. People believe that governments would do the same to Bitcoin if it becomes too big. A lot of countries work hard to block social media access, and in those situations this app may be a big boon.
T Dev D also explained the working of the app, by saying that as there is a 160 character restriction in SMS, the app sends multiple SMSes to transmit the whole data. The first SMS in the series contains data on the total number of SMSes to be sent as well as a hash ID that has to be verified with the final SMS. The consecutive SMSes containing a sequencing number as well as more transaction hex data. Once all the data through SMSes have been received, the app assembles them together and pushes it out to the Bitcoin network.
Pony Direct is a part of ongoing research aimed to get through government censorship against cryptocurrencies. Communities are also planning to launch more initiatives in order to bypass censorship.