Satellite Beams Bitcoin Data Across the Globe

Blockchain, FinTech, Innovation, Investing, News | August 16, 2017 By:

San Francisco blockchain startup Blockstream has launched Blockstream Satellite, a new service that broadcasts real-time bitcoin blockchain data from space.

Blockstream Satellite is the world’s first public satellite service that allows anyone to operate and maintain bitcoin nodes, without the limitations of traditional network connectivity. It sends blocks in real-time, as well as recirculates older blocks, providing free access to the bitcoin blockchain for both existing and new users of the cryptocurrency. In addition, it provides an additional layer of reliability for blockchain data in the event of a network partition.

The satellite setup uses open source software to make using the technology inexpensive and less cumbersome. Software includes GNU Radio, software-defined radios (SDR), and Fast Internet Bitcoin Relay Engine (FIBRE). When combined, these technologies will allow blockstream to provide access to bitcoin across the world, according to the company.

Blockstream said the satellite is available across two thirds of the Earth’s landmass, and additional coverage areas will soon come online to reach almost every person on the planet by the end of the year.

The satellite network currently consists of three geosynchronous satellites that cover four continents – Africa, Europe, South America, and North America. Ground stations called teleports uplink the public bitcoin blockchain data to the satellites in the network, which then broadcast the data across the globe.

“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 Dr. Adam Back, co-founder and CEO at Blockstream. “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.”