A blockchain-driven (decentralized) WiFi hotspot system would allow users around the world to connect to
nearby WiFi networks without involving a third party and at a much better cost than current WiFi hotspot or
mobile data solutions. The blockchain technology
1 provides most of the solution in a simple and elegant way.
With the use of smart contracts
2 at the connection level, we provide a solution that is trustless, rewards
owners running the Service with a configurable usage fee and open the world to new possibilities with millions
of WiFi routers out there connected to the Internet.
Initial Tech Specs:
Smart Contract Platform / Blockchain: Ethereum
Router Architectures Targeted*: amd64, armv7, arm64
App Platforms Targeted*: Android, Linux, Windows
The Internet has become a standard in the everyday life of millions of people
, the underlying infrastructure is
based on millions of routers currently in place around the world, most of them already WiFi enabled
routers are in service 24/7 and allow users to connect to the Internet in a wired or wireless manner. Despite
these routers being constantly available worldwide and providing Internet services, many users rely on
expensive, unreliable mobile data to connect to the Internet
4 because no or poorly implemented solutions are
in place to use these routers instead. What is needed is a way for users to use the connection these routers
offer, in a seamless, low cost way, while compensating the Owners of the routers for offering it. Routers
controlling the use of the service through transactions and smart contracts as part of a global blockchain allow
the system to run in a trustless and secure environment where only minor external involvement is necessary.
Described in more details below, the Service and the App, built on top of the chosen blockchain, provide the
necessary components for this system to work.
We define the Owner as either the customer who purchased the router, or the ISP who is supplying the router
to its customers. The Owner is the beneficiary of the fees generated by the Service when used, he is also the
one in charge of activating and configuring the Service initially.
We define the Service as a group of programs running on a router using a combination of transactions and
smart contracts on top of a blockchain to allow or deny the use of the Internet connection of the router through
a WiFi network. The Service is composed of a light node of the blockchain it is configured to work with. The
Owner of a router can decide to activate the service in the router’s configuration page, either in a permanent or
temporary fashion, recurrent or not. The service’s configuration is stored on the blockchain to keep a secure
record and validate against it when transacting. The configuration contains information about the available
speed, the fees, the restrictions in place, etc… When a connection is requested to the WiFi network, the
Service initiates a transaction with the smart contract to validate and allow/deny the device to connect. The
smart contract takes care of executing the transaction for the payment of the fees as soon as the device
disconnects from the WiFi network. The 802.11u standard is used to broadcast the Service’s information to
nearby supported devices. By leveraging "identification through transaction", the blockchain is effectively used
as a replacement for the RADIUS servers and gateways used in traditional hotspot systems.
We define the App as a software on the device allowing it to interact with the Service. Just like the Service, the
App is also composed of a light node of the blockchain it is configured to work with, it is designed to handle
connecting to nearby WiFi networks who provide the Service by interacting with the smart contracts through
the routers. The App also allows automatic connection based on a user-defined configuration for easy
roaming. Whenever available, the App switches over to the known WiFi networks to avoid unnecessary fees.
[Future] The ideal implementation would be to integrate the elements needed on top of the built-in WiFi
manager of the platform to allow for simpler connections, without the need for a separate app
We define the Token as the crypto-currency used by the bHotspot network. The amount of Tokens required to
use a connection is defined by the Owner when configuring the Service. The Tokens are automatically
transferred to the owner’s address. Owners can then easily spend them through the app by using others’
Services, exchange them on a crypto-currency exchange, or store them for later use. The monetization of the
hotspots incentivizes Owners to provide better service, like increased bandwidth and reliability, as their cost is
partially or fully covered by the usage fees.
The system described above offers multiple possible implementations for the Service. Below are the two
At the customer level
A customer can decide to activate the Service and provide a configuration as they see fit. If needed, the
Service can be set up to activate only when the customer is not there (vacation, work, night…). The customer
chooses the bandwidth they want to allocate to the Service. The customer can now monetize their connection
when they wish to do so, and partially or fully refund the price of the connection. This also benefit ISPs, as
customers will be inclined to get better connections from them to provide better hotspots, and be able to
increase their Service fees.
At the ISP level
An ISP supplying their own routers to customers can provide the Service themselves by having an extra
amount of bandwidth reserved for it, on top of the customer’s paid bandwidth, the ISP would then be the
beneficiary of the Service fees. An ISP could also make a deal with some customers (think businesses), to
split the profit of running the Service and promoting the ISP’s connection.
What we propose is a WiFi hotspot system that does not rely on trust or third parties, and can work in
complete autonomy once the initial configuration is done. Through the use of a router service combined with an
application on the user’s device, we offer a low cost, seamless way to connect to the millions of WiFi networks
around the world and benefit from better, more reliable Internet connections while compensating the providers
of the Service for making it available.
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