The existence and rise of Bitcoin plus other crypto coins is down to one main fact – the virtual ubiquity of the internet. Well, almost. Despite digital currencies’ growth, and their enterprise to become a more viable form of currency than any other, due to the potential ability to instantly send and receive any amount of money to anyone else, located anywhere on the planet, the truth is, there are many parts of the world still lacking access to a) the internet itself, b) a decent internet connection, i.e. non-intermittent, and c) an affordable internet connection. Obviously without the internet, there is no Bitcoin, no Litecoin, no coin whatsoever, only fiat money (and commodities) – so as long as some parts of the world lack a viable internet connection, due to connection issues or pricing, you’re never going to get Bitcoin (or other coins), become the ultimate global currency phenomenon which they aspire to be. That’s not to say digital currencies can never become the prime payment method of choice worldwide without a truly ubiquitous internet, but one of the core sentiments would somewhat be watered down.
Which is why a new endeavour from two companies, Dunvegan Space Systems and Deep Space Industries, is aiming to launch mini satellites into space, which should essentially augment ease of entry into the Bitcoin world of transactions.
Jeff Garzik, founder of Dunvegan Space Systems, said he had teamed up with Deep Space Industries to “develop an orbital system”, mentioning,
“If you’re paying for internet bandwidth, that can impose a real cost on users. That may prevent some users from using bitcoin. Outside Western nations, [a satellite data provider] greatly reduces the cost of access to the bitcoin network. If you’re in Africa or just on a mobile Internet connection where bandwidth is expensive, having a free source of bitcoin bandwidth reduces your cost.”
The name given to the mini satellite is BitSat, a 10cm3 cube, which would be attached to future spacecrafts being launched into space – so the system would be a constellation of BitSats, orbiting the Earth, broadcasting a backup signal for the current Bitcoin network.
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With an estimated cost of at least $2 million, it’s not going to be cheap, even though Garzik insists that,
“Private spaceflight is breaking big, driving down costs so that great ideas like BitSats are within reach of even volunteer nonprofits. We want to keep Bitcoin healthy and free by finding ways to distribute block chain data.”
Whilst Rick Tumlinson, chairman of Deep Space Industries went on to say,
“While this announcement may surprise some people, it is actually very much in line with our spacecraft development plans, including another private spacecraft system we will be announcing in a few months that will use many of the same components and systems. This means much lower costs – very important for the donation-based BitSat effort.”
Their aim is to acquire between $2 million and $5 million to launch the initial few BitSats into space, possibly via Kickstarter or something similar.