Blockstream is Futureproofing Bitcoin

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  • Blockstream’s upgrade this week increased its data rate by 25x
  • Entire Bitcoin can now be synchronised via satellite on setup
  • Bitcoin can survive in a global catastrophe

Blockstream, the Bitcoin-broadcasting satellite network, announced Blockstream 2.0 this week – the first major upgrade to its network in almost three years. The changes have ushered in greater efficiency, higher bandwidth, and better coverage, but what it demonstrates at a macro level is that Bitcoin is poised to be the cockroach of the currency world – it can now survive the kind of global catastrophe that would kill off fiat money.

Blockstream Upgrade Changes the Game

Blockstream Satellite 2.0 has seen the broadcast move to the commonly used DVB-S2 protocol, bringing improvements in spectral efficiency, signal reliability, and delivering higher bitrates. DVB-S2 is also less affected by weather interference and less sensitive to equipment tuning, meaning that when the apocalypse comes it will be easier to find a signal, reducing your chances of the zombies catching you on the roof fiddling with your satellite dish.

This change has increased Blockstream’s data capacity by more than 13x, from approximately 120 kbps to roughly 1.6 Mbps, as well as bringing with it a tranche of other upgrades. Taken together, this means that Blockstream Satellite 2.0 has over 25x the data rate compared to the version 1.0, which has allowed the engineers to bring in one final breakthrough – instead of users having to connect their Bitcoin node to the internet for the initial sync, Blockstream 2.0 now enables full Bitcoin blockchain history synchronization over satellite.

These changes aren’t just tweaks of the system, they represent a quantum leap forward from the first iteration to achieving the vision of the creators – to enable the Bitcoin blockchain to be broadcast anywhere in the world at all times.

Bitcoin Can Now Survive Armageddon

If the world were to experience any kind of large scale disaster, be it manmade or a natural event, the concept of fiat money would likely vanish in its current form, given the delicate balance of mechanics that are needed to make it operate successfully. Were that to happen, the Bitcoin blockchain would be available to be resurrected, in its entirety, along with every holder’s balance, by anyone with a satellite dish.

Of course it would take quite a lot of groundwork to set up a functioning society that could use Bitcoin again, but the fact that the foundations of the Bitcoin network are, and forever will be, attainable by anyone with a dish and a receiver, shows that Bitcoin is, in many ways, the money of the future.