What if you could use Bitcoin safe in the knowledge that the blockchain is being safeguarded from outer space?
Bitcoin has previously only made headlines for the Winklevoss’ use of the currency to go stratospheric
with Virgin Galactic. Thanks to the developers of the not-for-profit BitSat project, however, the stuff of fantasy will once again become reality in the Bitcoin community.
Jeff Garzik’s Dunvegan Space Systems has announced a preliminary design contract with Deep Space Industries to build a system of orbital satellites for BitSat, whose aim is to provide additional security for the Bitcoin network by broadcasting block from outside the stratosphere.
Garzik, who is organizing the campaign to fund the project, said, “We want to keep Bitcoin healthy and free by finding alternative ways to distribute blockchain data”.
The first payment to Deep Space Industries has already been made – with bitcoins via BitPay.
BitSats orbiting Earth will effectively provide a cross checking system to make the network resilient as more and more users take to Bitcoin. Despite being not-for-profit, clever methods are being employed to keep costs to an absolute minimum and ensure the project is realized successfully.
“Private space flight is breaking big, driving down costs so that great ideas like BitSats are within reach of even volunteer nonprofits,” Garzik said.
The BitSats will, for example, be sent in orbit on the back of larger satellites, negating the necessity for a costly private launch. Deep Space Industries is also keen to keep the project as economically viable as possible:
“[BitSat] is actually very much in line with our spacecraft development plans, including another private spacecraft system we will be announcing in a few months that will use many of the same components and systems. This means much lower costs - very important for the donation-based BitSat effort,” Chairman Rick Tumlinson said.
Initial concepts for architecture, operations concept, and spacecraft design will be drawn up by Deep Space Industries prior to a blueprint being published for evaluation in August.
Should the project be successful, extraterrestrial security will no doubt give consumers some much-needed peace of mind with regard to transacting in Bitcoin.
“The goal is to design a downlink system from the satellites to the public that is as open and inexpensive as possible,” said Daniel Faber, chief operating officer for Deep Space Industries. Once operational, BitSat will be free to use, according to Dunvegan’s website.
More details about the project can be found here
Dunvegan Space Systems is meanwhile collecting donations for the project via address 1M9MyyPsAak7zRjW4D96pTxDaAEpDDZLR7 processing through BitPay.
"It does not surprise me that this exciting project is being launched from a community deeply focused on eliminating trust - thus risk - from finance and social organization. If that's what is needed to circumvent local arbitrary jurisdiction then so be it. The future of voluntary institutions will thus not only be on the cloud but also in space." – Juan Galt, Social Media manager and Lead Coordinator for Toronto Bitcoin Expo 2014, blogger and regular at the Toronto co-working space and startup accelerator Bitcoin Decentral.
"It sounds like an interesting method for people to access the Bitcoin network from remote areas. Is it necessary right now? Probably not. Space is still dominated by the world's largest militaries in many ways. The best way to protect the Bitcoin network right now is to distribute it in as many locations on Earth as possible." - Kristov Atlas