Digital banking as an essential service can be hard to access in remote, rural regions wherethe network connectivity is unavailable or intermittent. The payment operators like Visa and Mastercardoften face dif culties reaching these remote, rural areas. Although micro-banking has been made possibleby short message service or unstructured supplementary service data messages in some places, their security aws and session-based nature prevent them from wider adoption. Global-level cryptocurrencies enable lowcost,secure, and pervasive money transferring among distributed peers, but are still limited in their abilityto reach people in remote communities. We propose a blockchain-based digital payment scheme that candeliver reliable services on top of unreliable networks in remote regions. We focus on a scenario wherea community-run base station provides reliable local network connectivity while intermittently connectsto the broader Internet. We take advantage of the distributed veri cation guarantees of the Blockchaintechnology for nancial transaction veri cation and leverage smart contracts for secure service management.In the proposed system, payment operators deploy multiple proxy nodes that are intermittently connected tothe remote communities where the local blockchain networks, such as Ethereum are composed of miners,vendors, and regular users. Through probabilistic modeling, we devise design parameters for the blockchainnetwork to realize robust operation over the top of the unreliable network. Furthermore, we show that thetransaction processing time will not be signi cantly impacted due to the network unreliability throughextensive emulations on a private Ethereum network. Finally, we demonstrate the practical feasibilityof the proposed system by developing Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled payment gateways onRaspberry-Pis, a mobile wallet application and mining nodes on off-the-shelf computers.
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