Bitcoin In Space: Blockchain Satellite Receives First Transaction

Blockstream’s Blockchain Satellite has forwarded its first transaction, the company’s CEO Adam Back has confirmed on Twitter.

Back was quoting BitcoinVPS creator Grubles, whose satellite node successfully received Blockchain transactions on a computer with networking disabled.

Last week Blockstream announced it would use leased satellites to beam the Bitcoin Blockchain all over the world.

Africa, Europe, South America and North America are first regions where users of the company’s beta can download a fully functional Bitcoin node.

Blockstream has the goal of making Bitcoin accessible to people from countries with poor Internet infrastructure and unstable currencies.

The system is designed to guarantee a 64kbit/sec connection, which “provides adequate bandwidth to reliably maintain synchronization with the network with modest delay,” according to Back.

Users require a 45-centimeter satellite dish, for example TV satellite, and a personal computer or dedicated hardware such as a Raspberry Pi.

The radio connection can be established through open-source software such as GNU Radio. Making a transaction still requires an Internet connection, but Back is confident that SMS would be enough.

According to Back, Blockstream is going to release an API for developers and companies to send data via satellite for a small fee.

Former Bitcoin Core developer Jeff Garzik had planned to launch a similar project BitSat in 2014 but suspended it. In a discussion on Reddit, he argued that Blockstream’s satellite means centralization on company’s version of the Blockchain.