Bitcoin’s ascent to “space money” takes a major stride forward with the addition of a satellite full node in Brazil.
A Brazilian Bitcoin user has transmitted the blockchain from orbit. Product manager at Ledn and Venezuelan national Mauricio Cessere has reportedly created the first Bitcoin (BTC) satellite full node in Brazil.
Cessere’s full satellite node downloads the Bitcoin blockchain directly from the Blockstream Satellite Network, eliminating the need for a dependable internet connection. It is a minor step for Bitcoin’s network of nodes, but a major leap for Bitcoin adoption, as it demonstrates that persons in remote or difficult-to-reach regions might operate nodes.
For those who are unfamiliar with nodes, a Bitcoin full node is software that continuously monitors the blockchain and its whole transaction history. A full node forbids illegitimate transactions and prevents “double-spend” attempts, often known as “double-spends.” Nodes, according to Cessere, “give their owners decentralised access to the only uncensorable financial network we are aware of today.”
Until 2020, the configuration of a Bitcoin node (also referred to as a Bitcoin peer, as Bitcoin is a “peer-to-peer version of electronic currency”) was entirely dependent on local internet service providers. Bitcoin lovers throughout the world may now download a full node without an internet connection, as a result of enhancements to Blockstream’s Satellite Network.
But why is it significant? According to Cessere, “Satellite Full Nodes are the next step in decentralising the Bitcoin network,” and he adds:
“The use case for Satellite Full Nodes has never been clearer. A couple of these can fully connect isolated populations to Bitcoin, even those without Internet connectivity.”
The rationale for satellite complete nodes is persuasive, particularly in nations with unstable governments, poor internet connections, and inadequate digital infrastructure. Effectively, a satellite full node can enable more developing nations and those without Internet access to contribute to and eventually join the Bitcoin network.
Bitcoin Gandalf (not his real name) of Braiins Bitcoin mining company said that “using Blockstream satellite gives an additional level of redundancy in the event that more traditional communication options are disrupted.”
It's taken me much longer than expected, but I will download #Bitcoin's blockchain from space within Brazil this year. 📡⛓🛰
— El Sultán ₿itcoin 🛰 (@elsultanbitcoin) January 27, 2022
In 2020, for instance, a Bitcoin satellite node was constructed in neighbouring Venezuela. Cecere explains that Venezuela’s robust infrastructure of satellite dish networks “may be exploited to expand Bitcoin’s offline signal on earth.”
After television network provider DirecTV left the country, Cecere linked from his native country to a Blockstream satellite.
“More than ten years ago, DirecTV installed a dish at my parents’ home, and I converted it into an access point to the most powerful financial network. This is experiencing the power of money without borders to its fullest extent in the flesh!”
Having witnessed significant levels of inflation since 2016, Venezuela is becoming increasingly crypto-friendly. Brazil is another hub for cryptocurrency adoption, especially in light of a recent policy that proposes security for private keys and the authorization of cryptocurrency payments. The capacity to operate a satellite node in these nations as an offline connection point is advantageous for network adoption and resilience.
Cessere’s Brazilian satellite full node connects from a family member’s residence in Santos, close south of Brazil’s main city, So Paulo. If the node is successful, it will be “ported” to Fundaco Parque Tecnológico de Santos Gustavo, a technology and innovation park, where it will remain permanently linked as an offline connection point.
The Bitcoin space signal, however, has significant limits. Cessere explains that it is a one-way street because one can only pull data from it and not push any; hence, they cannot broadcast transactions to the network.
Blockstream may introduce a more advanced version of its satellite technology in the future, allowing users with extremely limited internet connectivity to connect to Bitcoin, such as crypto mining operations in remote locations.
Then, and only then, will Bitcoin assume the role of “space currency.”
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.