Blockstream has recently announced a move that makes them even more amazing. In case you are not familiar, Blockstream is a blockchain based company, with the mission of creating the financial infrastructure of the future. The company transmits the Bitcoin blockchain and supports its systems for communication and cryptocurrency transactions. Many companies do it, but Blockstream does it differently.
As mentioned, Blockstream uses blockchain technology to carry out its transmissions. However, its transmission does not pass through cables or even the internet. A series of satellites makes transmission from space. Using satellites means that Blockstream can remain independent. It also means that their transmission can reach places that do not have internet.
Expansion service in Asia and Australia
Last week, Blockstream announced through a press release that it had added a fifth satellite to its network. Their transmission can now reach most of the world.
Their previous satellite training allowed them to share their blockchain broadcasts to most of North and South America, Europe and Africa. The fifth satellite of the company allows them to reach the Asia-Pacific region, including China, India, Japan, the Korean Peninsula and Australia.
The only areas currently without service are Greenland, most of Iceland, parts of northern Canada, parts of Eastern Europe and the Middle East, Somalia and Madagascar.
In order to access the services from the new satellite, current Blockstream users will have to download the latest software from the company. They may also need to realign their satellite antennas.
Users can access the messaging service
The addition of a fifth satellite may have been the big news in the press release, but it was not all. Blockstream also announced that service users will now be able to send communications through the service, including private messages.
The launch of the Blockstream Satellite API is the next step in Bitcoin's global infrastructure, said the company's CEO, Dr. Adam Back.
For the first time, everyone has open access to a means of transmission that is completely external to the Internet, which leads to reliable transmission of messages and access to Bitcoin in the most remote places. With the expansion of the Asia-Pacific, Blockstream Satellite users are now able to reach over 90% of the world's population with their messages. All this is made possible thanks to the micropayments enabled by Bitcoin and the Lightning network.
As the CEO of Blockstream quotes, these services will have the cost of microtransactions of Bitcoin via Lightning Network. The funds will go to support the project. The press release stated that the transactions will take place on a per kilobyte basis but will not include the cost. It could be that this has yet to be decided, as these services will not be available until the beginning of January.
The advantage of sending a public message is obvious as it has the potential to reach billions of people all over the world. The advantage of sending a private message is exactly the opposite: it is perfectly private. Blockchain security means that not even Blockstream will be able to access private messages.
For the first time, everyone has open access to a means of transmission that is completely external to the Internet, which leads to reliable transmission of messages and access to Bitcoin in the most remote places.
Public messages will presumably be subject to some form of moderation, if not from Blockstream, than from the user community.
How to be involved
If you want to join the fast-growing Blockstream community, you can visit their website. Here you can find the software, instructions and documentation you will need to join their satellite network. You can also join the appropriate transaction platforms that will allow you to pay for services within the network.