Samourai, a privacy focused crypto wallet, have recently introduced a new feature which allows you to send Bitcoin payments using standard SMS messages. It opens up a whole host of possibilities, and really moves the Bitcoin network along.
Because it uses SMS messages, the app, called PonyDirect allows you to send Bitcoin without an internet connection. This also makes it a viable option in countries where there are restrictions.
The idea was touched upon by Pavol Rusnak, the CTO of Satoshilabs back in August 2017, and the Samourai Developer T Dev T said;
“PonyDirect was developed in-house as a proof-of-concept app with the intention of open sourcing it to be an open invitation for developer participation in the Mule Tools project as a whole.”
So how exactly does this app work? An SMS message is limited to 160 characters, which means that several texts are sent with the initial message, containing information on the number of messages to be received, the message has ID that must be matched, a batch ID, a sequencing number and part of the actual transaction hex. This continues until the series of SMS messages are all received, where the transaction is then reassembled and pushed out into the Bitcoin network. So, the Bitcoin transaction will need to be divided as many times as necessary, but it means that all of the relevant information can be sent over SMS and broadcast to the network from there.
The PonyDirect app has been designed to help those in developing countries, where mobile technology is so far ahead of other countries. The features of the Samourai wallet really make it stand out from the crowd. There are a number of unique features, from the text message payment, to reusable payment codes. This could be just a start of things to come, and again, goes a long way into bringing cryptocurrencies into everyday life.