Blockstream is now streaming Bitcoin Blockchain from five satellites strategically in orbit around Earth to reach all major landmasses. Furthermore a new API allows users to send encrypted messages to one another. Also pay for those messages in Bitcoin using Lightning Network.
Blockstream CEO Adam Back says
We see the increased robustness of the bitcoin network and the lower cost of participation contributing to helping businesses rely on the service for backup. And for emerging markets to use as their primary access to the bitcoin network at a lower cost.
The data transmitted by satellite network includes all bitcoin transactions. In 2019 this new API will allow users send messages about pricing and much more without internet access. Blockstream Chief strategy officer Samson Mow said
Bitcoin has always been about uncensorable money. And now we have uncensorable communications as well.
Along with sending smaller bitcoin payments, the Lightning Network enables per-kilobyte micro-transactions, and onion-routing technology. Hence, allowing users to send messages wherein the sender, receiver and content are all secured from third party observation.
Back says that there are people interested to receive bitcoin data via satellite and then relay it through mesh networks in rural areas. And this is a lower cost way to get connected to bitcoin network and participate in bitcoin economy.
Globally, 1.7 billion people don’t have access to sufficient banking. Perhaps, the nonprofit Web Foundation last month published a report showing that less than half the world’s population had internet access. Hence the rate of growth was slowing.
Mow says “everything that we’re doing is to augment bitcoin and make it more robust. That is really key for long-term growth. It may not impact the price next year, but it will definitely impact the price ten years from now, because there’s all these services and products underlying and connected to bitcoin that will make it much stronger and easier to use.”