When Rémi answers the phone, we first hear the sound of the waves around him. This is normal, he warns us: he is currently at sea, right next to the famous Fort Boyard. Rémi is at the origin of a singular project, and for which he does not need to have his feet on the ground.
It is a ” sailing bitcoin lab », as he likes to present his project. And, he’s not really wrong. Installed on his sailing boat, which he named the Sato in honor of the inventor of bitcoin, he spins a node bitcoin, and he is trying to introduce the world of cryptocurrencies.
A project to promote decentralization
In the bitcoin community, nodes have a very special role: as Cryptoast sums it up very well, “ a node is a computer that holds a copy of the register of transactions (the famous blockchain) and maintains it through its interactions with other users. Each node ensures compliance with the consensus rules, necessary for the integrity of the system ».
The nodes are organized in a peer-to-peer network, which makes it possible to have a vast mesh which constantly monitors the blockchain, and to better resist attacks. It is therefore a very important task to ensure the decentralization of the blockchain.
For the bitcoin community, the interest is to have the most nodes possible, because they make it possible to verify that the blockchain is working well. This is not at all the same as mining, the act of creating new blocks — and allowing miners to harvest bitcoins in exchange for their work.
With his node installed on the Sato, Rémi has one goal: to promote this famous decentralization. ” Basically, if you want to be a decentralization player, you can hold the entire Bitcoin blockchain ledger on a Rapsberry Pi computer. “, explains Rémi. ” It’s a small computer that you can easily operate: you just have to connect it to the internet and it updates automatically with the new blocks. I want to show that everyone can participate in the project in a more or less simple way. Even if it is necessary to have some bases in computer science, today, it is very well popularized. »
The idea of the boat did not come to him by chance: ” I had already been sailing for years, and I was fed up with my job. With friends, we thought it would be fun to run a node on a boat, that the project was fun. And, then in the end, 3 months later, I quit and bought a sailboat “, he says today. ” It’s true that it’s funny as a story “, he adds, laughing.
A month after leaving, the node still works great, even when it’s at sea. You still have to stay near the coast, to have a 3G or 4G connection, but it works “, he specifies. The idea now, in addition to watching over the node, is to ” set off across the seas to meet those who wish to learn more ».
Having left Brussels in July, Rémi should arrive in Biarritz just in time for the Surfin’Bitcoin festival, which starts on August 25. In the meantime, his node continues to operate.