Crypto Startup Blockstream Enables Access to Bitcoin without Internet Connectivity

The overall aging of cryptocurrencies in general and Bitcoin in specific is allowing the world to catch up to this powerful innovation. Governments and financial institutions are constantly introducing new regulations to provide better oversight and protection for the investors of crypto assets. This will help bring back the investor trust in cryptocurrencies. Moreover, new technologies and innovations inspired by the blockchain and distributed ledger technologies are continuously being introduced to the market.

In the latest example of this phenomenon, a startup called Blockstream is implementing a system to broadcast the entire Bitcoin blockchain from space with the help of some strategically placed satellites.

What this essentially means for the consumers and investors is that they will no longer need internet access to spend Bitcoin on everyday transactions. The startup Blockstream managed to raise $101 million from Khosla Ventures among others to build this system. They are doing this with the help of five satellites positioned in orbit around the Earth, which enable them to reach users across the world. Not only that but users will also be able to send encrypted messages using this network paid for with Bitcoin. The underlying network that is to be used for the messaging system is called the Lightning Network.

“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,” said Blockstream CEO Adam Back. “And for emerging markets to use as their primary access to the bitcoin network at a lower cost.” This is a major development when considering how much Bitcoin has had to rely on internet service providers to support its service across the globe. Now that Bitcoin has broken free from its dependence on ISPs, it has taken another step towards true freedom from the middle-man institutions that have hijacked today’s world economy.

“Bitcoin has always been about uncensorable money,” said Blockstream chief strategy officer Samson Mow, who previously worked as the chief operating officer of cryptocurrency giant BTCC. “And now we have uncensorable communications as well.”

Adam Back believes that the API of the Lightning Network be of great interest for the users of pre-existing mesh networks for communications. These networks use GoTenna to connect phones together without the reliance of cellular network companies like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast. “There are people who are interested in connecting the two things together, to receive bitcoin data via satellite and then relay it through mesh networks in a rural area or a village where internet is relatively expensive,” said Back. “It’s a lower cost way to get connected to the bitcoin network and participate in the bitcoin economy.”

The Lightning Network and Blockstream technology are great innovations that have the potential to bring about great change in our daily lives. If successful, they will completely change the way we make and spend money and how we communicate across the world.

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