Yesterday cryprocurrencies and space enthusiasts appeared to be overexcited as the San Francisco-based blockchain technology company Blockstream announced that it would broadcast Bitcoin from space via a satellite, so anyone will be able to connect to the bitcoin network even without Wi-Fi.
The company announced Blockstream Satellite , a brand new service designed to broadcasts real-time Bitcoin blockchain data from satellites in space to almost everyone worldwide. It covers about two-thirds of the Earth’s land mass with the company promising to add the remaining coverage areas by the end of the year.
“Bitcoin is a powerful and transformative internet native digital money that has blazed a trail of disruption, with its full potential yet to unfold. Because it’s permissionless, Bitcoin enables anyone to freely create new financial applications and other innovations that use the blockchain that haven’t been possible before,” said Blockstream co-founder and CEO Adam Back.
“Today’s launch of Blockstream Satellite gives even more people on the planet the choice to participate in Bitcoin. With more users accessing the Bitcoin blockchain with the free broadcast from Blockstream Satellite, we expect the global reach to drive more adoption and use cases for Bitcoin, while strengthening the overall robustness of the network.”
Blockstream service now runs on three geosynchronous satellites placed 22,000 miles above the Earth at various positions over that cover four continents: Africa, Europe, South America and North America. The company leases bandwidth on existing, commercial, geosynchronous satellites: Galaxy 18 (covers North America), Eutelsat 113 (covers South America) and two transponders on the Telstar 11N satellite (cover Africa and Europe).
The new service is predicted be the most usable by people who live in remote regions of developing world and have poor internet connectivity.
“When I first heard of Blockstream Satellite, I immediately recognized its great potential to bring Bitcoin to regions of the world where internet access is either unavailable or expensive,” shared his exitement Tim Akinbo, who is said to run the only bitcoin node in West Africa . “Not to mention providing redundant access when internet access is temporarily unavailable.”
Despite Blockstrean Satellite is completely free, its creators still have some plans to extend the platform over time, “with advanced features and capabilities that businesses would pay for.” They said they’re thinking over the idea of launching a low-latency service that bitcoin miners would find useful.
“One of the ways we are funding this project is by making excess capacity available for arbitrary use with micropayments,” the company states. “When we make available advanced features, capabilities, and services intended for business use, we plan on monetizing those.”
Blockstream was founded to develop new ways to accelerate innovation in crypto currencies, open assets and smart contracts. Its team believe in the potential of bitcoin and blockchain technology to have a significant, positive social impact and say their core area of innovation is sidechains, a technology focused on improving on the blockchain, the most powerful public utility for distributed trust systems.
Back in 2016 the company raised $55 million in Series A funding to further enhance their sidechain technology, expand thier operations globally, and support new industry partnerships, bringing the total investments in the company to $76 million.