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Author Topic: Send Bitcoin by SMS  (Read 3145 times)
Bruce Wagner
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November 10, 2010, 08:53:24 PM
 #1

I want to see a super simple way to send bitcoin payments via sms.

You developer geeks out there:  Consider This a Challenge.   Smiley

I envision the ability to instantly send $4.95 to my local non-starbucks coffee shop... from my phone... via sms.  

I see my coffee shop having a tiny sign near the cash register saying, "Send bitcoin payments via text message to:  212-580-0022."

I send a text message to some central "BitcoinByText" server number.  Like:  send usd4.95 to 2125800022 Bruce Large Capachino
T
It Replies to me:   Sent US $4.95 to 2125800022. Confirmation Number: a8x6q3

Instantly it sends confirmation to the Coffee Shop's phone too:    Received US $4.95 from 9173857394 for Bruce Large Capachino. Confirmation Number: a8x6q3

And the bitcoin send happens automatically in the background.  

Both parties would have to have an account set up with "BitcoinByText", presumably.   This means they'd both be trusted.  

The larger the amount of the transaction, the more "confirmed" that would be required before the transaction is confirmed and the texts sent to both parties as "confirmed"  

In other words, a $19.95 purchase could be confirmed immediately.  

A $19,900.00 purchase might take two or three hours to confirm.

This could also depend on the level of trust that person has earned with "BitcoinByText".

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Bruce Wagner
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November 10, 2010, 09:05:11 PM
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The more I think about it.  The more I think.... an even better idea would be:

A Bitcoin App for Android.

This Android App could send bitcoin directly --- exactly the same way the desktop app does.

You'd likely want it to be its own separate "wallet", possibly, in case you lose your phone.

Also, there needs to be a "URL shortener" for Bitcoin addresses.

For example, built-in to the app could be a look-up function. 

I enter a person's phone number (or a store's phone number), and it automatically fills in their long bitcoin address.

Alternatively, the app could use my Android phone's camera to scan the QV? (square) barcode to enter the recipient's bitcoin address correctly and quickly.

Thoughts?
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November 10, 2010, 09:52:05 PM
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This has been mentioned in past forum threads, and I think there is general agreement that bitcoin payments via mobile phone should be possible.

Jeff Garzik, bitcoin core dev team and BitPay engineer; opinions are my own, not my employer.
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November 11, 2010, 04:55:05 PM
 #4

All great ideas that I'm confident will eventually happen... assuming Bitcoin doesn't crash and burn for some reason (yes, I'm working hard on a technology I think has about a 30% chance will be made illegal or won't be "better enough" than alternatives to catch on or will overtaken by something even better or will have its peer-to-peer network overwhelmed with jerks mounting denial-of-service-attacks or will crash and burn for some reason I haven't thought of yet).

The "URL shortener" for stock Bitcoin would need to be a plug-in, where you give it one or more websites that provide URL shortening services (to get bitcoin addresses for email addresses or phone numbers or social security numbers (ok, SS#'s would be a bad idea)).  I don't think stock Bitcoin should or could do that, because that service means maintaining a centralized database, and trusting whoever runs that database not to suddenly, one day, decide to redirect all the bitcoins to themself and then retire to Bermuda.  (or trust them not to get hacked so hackers get all those coffee-shop payments...)

That'd be another good, standalone project for a good C++ programmer who wanted to do some Bitcoin-related programming...

I think the next big step for Bitcoin is a "lightweight client" that doesn't rely on a constant connection to the Bitcoin network, doesn't store the entire block chain, and doesn't try to generate blocks.

How often do you get the chance to work on a potentially world-changing project?
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November 22, 2010, 10:30:35 AM
 #5

All great ideas that I'm confident will eventually happen... assuming Bitcoin doesn't crash and burn for some reason (yes, I'm working hard on a technology I think has about a 30% chance will be made illegal or won't be "better enough" than alternatives to catch on or will overtaken by something even better or will have its peer-to-peer network overwhelmed with jerks mounting denial-of-service-attacks or will crash and burn for some reason I haven't thought of yet).

The "URL shortener" for stock Bitcoin would need to be a plug-in, where you give it one or more websites that provide URL shortening services (to get bitcoin addresses for email addresses or phone numbers or social security numbers (ok, SS#'s would be a bad idea)).  I don't think stock Bitcoin should or could do that, because that service means maintaining a centralized database, and trusting whoever runs that database not to suddenly, one day, decide to redirect all the bitcoins to themself and then retire to Bermuda.  (or trust them not to get hacked so hackers get all those coffee-shop payments...)

That'd be another good, standalone project for a good C++ programmer who wanted to do some Bitcoin-related programming...

I think the next big step for Bitcoin is a "lightweight client" that doesn't rely on a constant connection to the Bitcoin network, doesn't store the entire block chain, and doesn't try to generate blocks.


Bitcoin already has one of its own url shortening services at http://btco.in  Grin

There is even an api sitting behind it you can use.
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