Recently, a company called Blockstream created a wave of enthusiasm among space and cryptocurrency followers. Many speculated that Blockstream was about to implement the idea of a satellite system that would beam the Bitcoin blockchain to the entire planet. Bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik promoted a plan, and it seems that these speculations were accurate!
Blockstream announced the Blockstream Satellite, a new service that will broadcast Bitcoin blockchain data in real time from space to almost the entire planet. The BlockStream Satellite intends to provide coverage to two-thirds of the planet. Additional coverage areas will be added in an attempt to reach nearly everyone in the world by the end of the year. Blockstream’s satellite service hopes to increase the footprint and accessibility of the Bitcoin network around the world.
The Power of Bitcoin
Bitcoin is a dominant digital currency which allows anyone to send and receive digital currently. Known for its work on the Lightning Network and Liquid network, Blockstream seeks to launch Bitcoin into space via satellite. The goal is to facilitate BTC transactions anywhere in the world, even in areas without internet. The launch of the Blockstream satellite is giving more people around the world the opportunity to participate in the Bitcoin revolution. The broadcast is entirely free, so the global reach could lead to a stronger adoption of Bitcoin while strengthening the overall robustness of the network.
3 Satellites and 4 Countries
The Blockstream satellite network is made of three geosynchronous satellites that cross four continents: Africa, Europe, South America, and North America. Earth stations called teleports, link public Bitcoin blockchain data to the network’s satellites, which then broadcast data over large areas around the world. Additional satellites and teleports will be added in an attempt to achieve global coverage by the end of the year.
The technology behind Blockstream
“When I first heard about Blockstream Satellite, I immediately saw its enormous potential to bring Bitcoin to regions of the world where Internet access is unavailable or very costly.”
Said Tim Akinbo, who administers the only Bitcoin node in West Africa.
The Blockstream satellite uses GNU Radio, a Software-Defined Radio (SDR) development platform, to decrease expenses and streamline development by reducing the need for specialized hardware. The Blockstream satellite uses the Fast Internet Bitcoin Relay Engine (FIBER), an open source protocol supported for several years for the study of the Bitcoin Relay Network. Together, these open-source technologies allow the Satellite Blockstream network to provide a free service reliably and cost-effectively.
Accessibility and resistance to censorship
Blockstream’s satellite program has the main advantages of making the Bitcoin network more accessible to those who don’t have a stable Internet connection and enabling users to bypass its possible censorship on the terrestrial Internet, evading hostile governments.
“The main goal is to profit the global Bitcoin community by developing network flexibility, increasing overall availability, and inspiring greater adoption of Bitcoin. It’s a never-ending mission, and there is still much to do” Chris Cook, project manager of the satellite network Blockstream
What can you do with Bitcoin?
Bitcoins can be managed in many different ways. Cryptocurrency is responsible for fast, secure and anonymous transactions that can be performed across borders. Possessing Bitcoin, you can anonymously buy whatever you want in a matter of seconds. You can buy a pizza, a house, or marijuana with Bitcoins. You can even play online gambling games with Bitcoins. If you are a sports fan, you can bet on American football using Bitcoins. All of this, you can do safely and anonymously thanks to the blockchain technology which stands behind the BTC cryptocurrency.
Why are cryptocurrencies so popular?
It all started with Bitcoin, but now there are hundreds, if not thousands, of different cryptocurrencies that you can invest in. Every successful cryptocurrency tries to find something with which it can use to distinguish itself from its competitors. For example, some coins focus specifically on transactions in online gaming, and there are also cryptocurrencies that focus entirely on a particular core property such as the speed of operation or guaranteeing the privacy of transactions. Cryptocurrencies are incredibly popular and despite the market downturn, many people are still investing. But where does that popularity actually come from?
It is perhaps one of the main reasons that cryptocurrencies are so popular. They are decentralized currencies. This means that there is no central authority or boss that controls everything. By using cryptocurrencies, you don’t need to rely on banks and financial institutions.
Faster and cheaper
If you want to transfer money from your bank account to the United States or another country, it can be a cumbersome process. This is because you have to deal with different banks and currencies. The average international transaction through a bank still takes at least three days. With cryptocurrency, these transactions can happen in a matter of seconds. It varies from coin to coin how long this takes precisely. Also, there are no expensive agencies that want to enrich themselves with your transactions. The transactions are therefore typically much cheaper.