“Transact bitcoin cash with any mobile phone in the world using simple text commands without Internet, smartphones, apps, accounts or passwords.”
So opens the overview of a new project that is currently limited to a select few and plans to go public in two weeks.
Needing solely a phone number that can receive text messages, they claim to have devised a method by which you can send and receive your bch across the world by simple commands such as send x bch to x address.
The phone number itself becomes the Bitcoin Cash address through complex methods that traverse telecoms and code. CoinText states:
“Every full phone number (country code + area code + number) is unique to a single mobile device. CoinText leverages each phone number as a unique identifier and puts them through a proprietary algorithm. The result is used as the seed for a Bitcoin Cash keypair, which is always created on the fly and never stored. This means that every phone number in the world can have a corresponding Bitcoin Cash address that is unique to that number.
The system stacks an API server, consisting of the Bitcoin Cash and CoinText libraries and an in-memory data cache. The system does not write data to disk and stores no information about phone numbers, keypairs, or transactions pushed through the system. All transactions are settled immediately on-chain and all transaction records are pulled from the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. The API server communicates with a global Tier-1+ SMS gateway provider, offering carrier redundancy with send and receive to every phone on Earth.
Users can on-board to the system by using the “cash” or “deposit” commands. They can also be on-boarded by another user who sends Bitcoin Cash to either a phone number (using “send”) or its associated address (using “withdraw”). The “balance” command retrieves the balance of the unspent outputs for the phone number (address).”
This is all done by a bot that gives numbers their own blockchain address and private key with CoinText stating they hold no record of either, but you as a user can retrieve the private key if you wish.
All of this is, quite amazingly, done automatically. Needing no sign up to anything. You simply send the text and the magic somehow happens.
The applications, as you can imagine, can be wide and extensive. Africa’s main commodity, arguably, is text messages because they might not really have much internet, but they all have the ability to receive and send text messages.
The same applies to other developing countries, but even in developed countries, having the ability to order your money around through text messages without requiring any sign up is quite an innovation.
The one drawback is those long numbers and letters that make up a Bitcoin Cash address, but there are ways to have a dns server that turns those numbers and letters into words.
Similar to how domain IP addresses are turned into more memorable letters and similar to how Ethereum’s Name Service does it.
With that functionality likely coming too. So allowing one to turn their phone number into a bank account that can tap global financial markets and any individual anywhere in the world.
Allowing you, thus, to simply send money to a charity by text. Or to order your takeaway dinner by just writing something like send x bch to x with message: one pizza at address.
This is possible, of course, because Bitcoin Cash is decentralized. With fiat bank accounts you can’t just text them things unless you are signed up for an account, logged into it and have internet with a smart phone.
But many people have neither. So making this new feature potentially an opportunity in remittance, or in countries where fiat money has collapsed.
Like Venezuela. Like Zimbabwe before it. Like Yugoslavia in the 90s, Russia to a great extent, and like a list of countries far too long.
More importantly, it’s something that has never existed before as far as we are aware. Making the potential applications and innovation unforeseeable.