Blockstream Pimps its Bitcoin Satellite Network

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  • Blockstream has improved its satellite service
  • Blockstream will be rolling out antennas to connect to the network shortly
  • Two types of antennas can be ordered depending on your needs

A year ago, Blockstream took a giant leap into space all in the name of Bitcoin. Blockstream launched five strategically placed satellites and began beaming the entire Bitcoin blockchain from them down to the earth.

This meant that anyone with an internet connection could connect to the system and transact in Bitcoin. But, Blockstream has been pondering the question “what happens when the internet dies?” This has led to the Blockstream satellite network version 2.0 and it’s pretty awesome!

Use Bitcoin Anywhere, Any Time!

Until now, you needed to be connected to the internet in order to make a Bitcoin transaction or update your wallet to receive any incoming Bitcoin – unless you count the one guy that sent Bitcoin via the radio. But Blockstream has completely changed the game and it’s now allowing people to connect to the service using a special satellite receiver. The special device means you can use your Bitcoin in the middle of the Gobi Desert if you really wish.

More Power, More Bitcoin

In the Blockstream Satellite Network 2.0, Blockstream has introduced a number of key changes to make this new satellite receiver system more feasible than using the internet. Blockstream has launched a standards-based transmission protocol, it’s cranked up the bandwidth, expanded the coverage area and it’s now even possible to sync a Bitcoin full node all the way back from the genesis block – perfect if you get stranded in the apocalypse!

You Will Need Kit and Cash

Unfortunately, it’s not quite as nifty as a little dongle you can plug into your laptop or phone, but it’s still rather easy to use. There are two kits you can pre-order from the Blockstream store, a basic kit and a pro kit. The basic kit requires a device running Linux to receive the broadcasts and retails at $299 after pre-sale ends. The pro kit is rack mountable, has professional hardware and dual satellite capability to crank up the speeds of your data transfers. The pro kit will come in at a cool $799 after the pre-sale ends.

Blockstream is definitely changing the Bitcoin game and is helping spread mass adoption out into rural areas where internet might not yet reach. The price tag is rather well balanced, and if you’re anything like us, the basic kit should be more than enough to keep you going when you’re internet is down!