Developer looking to outer space to secure Bitcoin network

At first blush, Jeff Garzik’s plan sounds ridiculous: He wants to launch a bunch of tiny satellites into space to provide extraterrestrial nodes to the Bitcoin blockchain.

There’s a Bitcoin-Sputnik joke in there somewhere.

But Garzik’s idea is actually pretty sound. Here’s the idea: He is putting together a project that would launch satellites of about 10 cubic centimeters into space at a cost of about $2 million each. Once they’re up there, the satellites will be able to distribute block chain data.

This would be useful in the event of a massive Sybil attack, in which a peer-to-peer network is sabotaged by a bunch of false data from forged identities, on the Bitcoin network.

Say thousands of Bitcoin nodes were compromised in such an attack. All that’s needed to repel the attack are honest data, which Garzik would have orbiting the Earth in little cubes. The system restore data would be safely hovering in the sky.

Satellites can transmit data easily in one direction without a huge bandwidth requirement. Later, part of Garzik’s plan is to have satellites beaming down Bitcoin data into regions of the Earth where internet connectivity is limited or compromised.

Garzik’s project would require a few million USD in financing, and he has thus far raised just more than 26 BTC.

For anyone who would like to contribute to the project: the Bitcoin address