Blockstream Satellite, a project that broadcasts the Bitcoin blockchain from space, today revealed all-new interactive services, allowing users to broadcast their own messages via the network. In addition to the announcement, Blockstream Satellite has expanded coverage to the Asia Pacific region, meaning any messages sent via the network will reach almost anyone on the planet.
Previously covering North and South America, Europe, and Africa, the addition of the Asia-Pacific region to Blockstream Satellite brings free access to some of the most populous areas of the world. From the top of a mountain to the middle of a desert, all a user needs to receive broadcasts are clear skies, a computer, and a low-cost satellite TV dish.
“While satellite communications have traditionally been cost-prohibitive, Blockstream Satellite will finally allow developers to adopt satellite communications in their applications. The new API will make it possible to send ‘Hello World’ to the world, but we think developers will come up with something a little more adventurous than that. Natural disaster notifications, secure personal messaging, and sending bitcoin market data to remote locations are just some of the exciting examples of the power of this service.”
To cover the costs of sending satellite data, users will be paying for usage via Bitcoin’s rapidly-growing Lightning Network. Not only does Lightning allow for per-kilobyte microtransactions, but its “onion-routing” technology allows users to safely protect their identities. Combined with proper encryption, the Blockstream Satellite API allows for totally private broadcasts where neither the sender, nor receiver, nor content of a message is known to Blockstream or any third parties.
“The launch of the Blockstream Satellite API represents the next step in global Bitcoin infrastructure. For the first time, everyone has open access to a broadcast medium completely external to the internet, bringing reliable message transmission and Bitcoin access to the remotest of locations. With the Asia Pacific expansion, Blockstream Satellite users are now able to reach over 90% of the world’s population with their messages. All of this is made possible thanks to micropayments enabled by Bitcoin and the Lightning Network.”
Users wanting Blockstream Satellite access in the Asia Pacific region can get access now by downloading the latest software from the Blockstream Satellite site. The same software also includes an update required for API access and data broadcast, scheduled to go live in early January 2019.