Almost the entire world now has bitcoin blockchain satellite cover

Posted: 19 December 2018 5:51 pm
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You don't need the Internet to access the bitcoin blockchain anymore.

Blockstream has just finished putting its fifth blockchain broadcaster into space. This means the entire world can now receive the bitcoin blockchain through a satellite dish, rather than over the Internet as is more typical.

What can space bitcoin do for me?

The main immediate advantage might be for people who live in areas that lack Internet infrastructure and want a better way of accessing the blockchain. This was the initial application, said Blockstream CEO Adam Back at the time of the first satellite launch.

The idea is that you don't need an Internet connection to use bitcoin anymore, which adds a redundancy as well as an alternative option to ensure that it's not entirely cost-prohibitive to participate in the bitcoin blockchain even if your Internet access is expensive or tightly throttled.

With five satellites broadcasting, the world now has blockchain coverage – except for those folks in Russia and Greenland.

In the long run though, this alternative method of access might be an interesting part of bitcoin's backbone as a censorship resistant instrument for financial freedom. While it's possible to thoroughly lock down Internet access in certain ways, it might be harder to censor satellite coverage.

It might also provide a potential level of apocalypse-proofing for bitcoin, in keeping with some visions of the cryptocurrency as a currency that can still work in the event of a total collapse. There's no telling how Internet infrastructure would hold up if the world was scorched by nuclear fire, but satellites might be a bit more resistant.

But the satellites still need some locations on the ground to work with. Those locations are Blockstream ground stations. These ground stations transmit blocks to the satellites, and then broadcast them back to Earth.

The launch was also accompanied by an update which brings additional Lightning Network support to the system.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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