Beam Me Down an Apartment, Bitcoin
New Satellites Could Change Everything, Including Real Estate
He is a very lonely man.
For thousands of miles in all directions, he is alone.
From a server in Lagos, Nigeria, Tim Akinbo broadcasts the only bitcoin node in all of West and Central Africa, according to Vice.
Not for long.
The Race Between OneWeb and SpaceX
Do you know what I was doing last summer? Nothing fun, at first. Then nothing I expected to be doing.
It began when I was researching SoftBank, a Japanese holding company. SoftBank is invested in a variety of big name, interesting projects. I wanted to buy some stock.
From there I stumbled onto the topic of low-orbit satellites. SoftBank invested in a company called OneWeb. I knew as much about satellites then as I know about swimming pool chemicals now: they exist, and they are useful.
OneWeb’s goal is “to provide global Internet connectivity.”
This is a big damn deal. Only 40% of the world’s population has internet access right now. (Live stats here.) Of the fortunate ones that *do* have access, my guess is nearly 100% complain about either their provider, their provider’s prices, or both. So a better option is gonna be huge.
To blanket the globe with lower-cost broadband OneWeb will deploy a global network of 720 low-Earth orbit satellites (aka, LEO satellites). Explains OneWeb:
In 2018 we will launch an initial 10 production satellites, which, pending a detailed test regimen, will become the first of our fleet. Six months later we will begin our full launch campaign and start providing low latency broadband access as early as 2019.
OneWeb is not the only company with these ambitions.
SpaceX also proposed deploying large constellations of non-geostationary-satellite orbit (NGSO) fixed satellite system satellites.
Summer passed. By October SpaceX detailed their plans to Congress.
The race was on.
I found myself suddenly interested in satellites.
Beam Down Bitcoin
Meanwhile, in the cryptocurrency world…
This, too, is a big damn deal. As Blockstream CEO Adam Back told reporter Alyssa Hertig:
“There is some coincidence between countries with poor internet infrastructure and unstable currencies. The people who are in direct need of bitcoin are those who currently have unstable access to bitcoin. This project will address that problem, and, we hope, will allow many more people to use bitcoin.”
Global Internet Access + Bitcoin + Real Estate
Our world may soon have dramatically more people with access to broadband and bitcoin. Both are fundamental game-changers. There is potential for enhanced peace and prosperity on the planet, if you’re an optimist.
Here is one possibility, with real estate investment as the example.
With access to the internet, and access to a global currency like Bitcoin, anyone, anywhere, could interact with Blocksquare.
Blocksquare will allow for incremental commercial real estate investment.
Blocksquare BST tokens could be purchased using Bitcoin. Slowly, a person could build ownership in property located in a more populous or prosperous location. As their investment matured they could pull BST out of Blocksquare, back into Bitcoin, and spend those funds anywhere on the planet.
The geo-arbitrage potential could bring money and security to more places. The process would circumvent common geographic, geo-political, or other economic obstacles.
Think of all the people who could benefit.
Someone like Tim Akimbo.
Maybe someone like you.
For more information on Blocksquare:
Disclosure: I am invested in SoftBank (SFTBY). This is not a recommendation to buy or sell. I am not a financial adviser. I personally consider SFTBY a back-door way to invest in OneWeb, which is not open to public investment.