On August, 15, 2017, leading blockchain developer group Blockstream announced plans for a satellite network that will broadcast the Bitcoin blockchain from orbit, greatly increasing global accessibility and mass adoption.
The introduction and development of Bitcoin and blockchain technology during the past decade has been nothing short of groundbreaking. This relatively young technology has the potential to reshape a wide range of industries in meaningful ways, allowing individuals self-sovereignty in their personal and professional endeavors. For example, it can provide a sane and sustainable approach to digital identity systems and the means to transact with anyone anywhere in the world without middlemen. This is possible now, and it is only going to improve from here on out.
But if access is barred from billions of people around the world and progress is only experienced by the half of the earth’s population who have internet access, can it really be the revolutionary paradigm that many believe it to be?
Access to Bitcoin and other blockchain networks such as Ethereum has been solely through the Internet. However, many places around the world still lack any access to the internet due to lack on infrastructure. Roughly half of the world’s population are currently unable to partake in the opportunities of the inter-connected world.
Enter Blockstream and their recently announced satellite network.
A network of satellites broadcasting the blockchain to all parts of the globe can bring the technology within reach of the populations which need it most. Blockchain adoption in developing countries can occur faster than within the urban centers of the world because there is a lack of legacy infrastructure and architecture which would impede progress. Frankly, it is incredibly difficult to build anew in areas with years of systems and designs in place.
As Blockstream CEO Adam Back, Ph.D says in his announcement of the project:
“For Bitcoin to be truly transformative, it must be everywhere, available for everyone to use, and that’s what we’re helping to make possible with Blockstream Satellite’s radically lower cost of Bitcoin network access — a necessary building block and level-up for the mass adoption of Bitcoin.”
It’s a commendable and fascinating approach to breaking Bitcoin out of the trappings of its birthplace.
For more information on Blockstream and Blockstream satellite, please visit the links below.
Satellite image via Adobe Stock