Is it possible to run Bitcoin mining and transaction distribution without using the internet?

For example, how would Bitcoin continue in the event of a total clampdown by a telco?

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    Keep in mind that there is a difference between an individual or region not being able to make a spend transaction and be current with the blockchain versus Bitcoin network being vulnerable to regional disruptions. Jul 5, 2012 at 3:21

2 Answers 2


You can technically run appropriately modified Bitcoin on any sort of network of communication, be it LAN, mesh, or otherwise. One could imagine making a mesh network on Zigbee or Bluetooth and allow anyone to connect to those without the Internet, although then the network latency would be way bigger and the Bitcoin network could easily become forked. Preferably there would be at least one proxy server running both on the internet (be it through wires or cellular) and on the distributed network.

If you want to make payments without using the internet, use physical coins, simple as that. It is far safer than making a new internet-less network. The only way you can lose in this way is if the Bitcoin value would plummet.

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    Except for the fact that physical coins can be counterfeited.
    – nmat
    Dec 8, 2011 at 15:49
  • Well, yes, but the Bluetooth network could probably loose connection to the main Bitcoin network easier, than someone counterfeiting the coins.
    – ThePiachu
    Dec 8, 2011 at 16:14
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    If someone knows exactly how much bandwidth Bitcoin uses offhand, I think it would be interesting to connect a client via AMPRNet - even if only as a proof of concept. It'd have to be very minimal (perhaps a selfish client?) bandwidth though, since AMPRNet maxes out at 9600 baud... Dec 9, 2011 at 3:49
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    There is also DASH7 which offers some interesting research opportunities
    – Gary
    Dec 9, 2011 at 13:22

Bitcoincard will use mesh radio network, but still, the transactions will be propagated to internet at first opportunity. However, one bitcoincard gateway with working internet access in whole city/neighborhood should be sufficient to prevent network forks.

  • Bitcoincard offers some very exciting possibilities. Thanks for adding it.
    – Gary
    Jul 4, 2012 at 20:17

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