Category Archives: Blockstream satellite

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Space Blogs: Cosmic Messages Now Available Via Bitcoin

Space Blogs: Cosmic Messages Now Available Via Bitcoin

Blockstream satellite, a project years in the making, is now enabling cosmic comments in space via the launch of spacebit.live.

With just a few satoshis (the smallest unit of Bitcoin), a satellite can spread the word, whatever that word may be, although who reads it is certainly unpredictable, so… calling all occupants of interplanetary space! Anyone out there..?

One message, somewhat hopeful in nature, suggested users were still getting to grips with Lightning Network, the second layer technology that Bitcoin users are hoping will greatly improve transaction scalability and cost efficiency:

“So here I am, left my job, I have some money to keep me up and I’m building my first raspberry pi lightning node, and broadcasting messages from satellites. Still feels surreal at times.”

The original idea was to make Bitcoin accessible for people without internet access. This has now become a simple website which users can use to send a message via satellites across the world, all paid for using small fractions of Bitcoin. Blockstream users seem to be busy sending their messages into the ether and crypto observer MediumSqueeze suggests that if the tech moves to Bitcoin’s live network soon, it could take off, explaining:

“Blockstream made available an API which takes a message and returns a lightning network invoice, upon receipt of the invoice the message is sent to the satellite teleport then the payload is broadcast to the satellite array.”

An astral blogger just about summed up the fact there are not a lot of people using the function just yet, messaging, “Still hard to grasp the fact, that I’m blanketing a big part of the Earth with my message, on demand, instantly. I wonder, does anybody [read this message]?”

Currently, the concept is still at the experimental stage. Messages and images can be paid for according to data content; the longer the text, or the inclusion of an image, will up the fee paid via Bitcoin’s developing Lightning Network.

How to tune in? The purchase of a simple USD 100 sat receiver should do the job. Messages can be sent through spacebit.live and the Blockstream API.

This parting message shows that someone out there has great faith in Bitcoin: “Without bitcoin I wouldn’t have too much faith for the future… I think I will tell this tale for my grandkids one day. Maybe in a post-civilization wasteland, but still.”

Where is Bitcoin going next?

 

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Miners Concerned Over Russia’s Planned Internet Shutdown Test

There are growing concerns is Russia’s cryptocurrency community that the cyberwar internet shutdown tests scheduled to take place before 1 April could impact Bitcoin mining.

The Digital Economy National Program, a new law recently drafted, will require Russian ISPs to be able to operate if the country is isolated online and as such the government is planning to monitor its effectiveness through the internet shutdown. The law suggests measures including building a Russian version of the net’s address system, DNS (Domain Name System).

Leonard Levin, the chairman of a Russian government technology committee says argues, “The calls to increase pressure on our country being made in the West oblige us to think about additional ways to protect Russian sovereignty in cyberspace.”

How will the shutdown impact Bitcoin miners who are totally reliant on internet connectivity? Bitnodes figures suggest that there are 10,476 Bitcoin nodes of which 291 (2.78%) are located in Russia, compared to 271 nodes (3.02%) on the Ethereum network.

In theory, Bitcoin mining could connect to Blockstream’s satellite network and circumvent disruptions. The Blockstream satellite is a one-way network, but the user still needs a connection to the Bitcoin network to send transactions, which can include SMS gateways. The network comprises four satellites across six coverage zones including the Asia and Pacific region, allowing users to send data over its network.

The Russian government has agreed to cover any costs for the shutdown, which will be backed up by an intranet, to compensate internet provers needing to modify systems by installing servers to redirect and filter web traffic.

 

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