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Altcoin News: Sending Messages into Space — a New Trend in the Bitcoin Community

March 6, 2019, by Marko Vidrih on ALTCOIN MAGAZINE

The technical community of Bitcoin is testing a new technology that allows you to send anonymous messages to the universe for a small fee in Bitcoin.

The sender of such a message can not know exactly where the message will go, and who will read it. But it still pays a couple of cents in Bitcoin and sends its message, which is transmitted from the satellite. All this is possible using the Blockstream satellite, an eccentric project announced more than a year ago, with the goal of making Bitcoin accessible to people who do not have access to the Internet.

Sending messages has become easier after launching, a simple website that offers users to pay a small amount (by default, 3 cents in Bitcoin) for sending messages via satellites around the world. The results of the merger of these two projects are very interesting. For example, in one message, the strange thoughts of an unknown person about life and Bitcoin are told.

“So here I am, left my job, I have some money to keep me up and I’m building my first raspberry pi lightning node, and broadcasting messages from satellites. Still feels surreal at times,” the diary reads, as retrieved by Twitter user “Grubles,” a Blockstream satellite user who frequently tweets about the technology.

“Still hard to grasp the fact, that I’m blanketing a big part of the Earth with my message, on demand, instantly. I wonder, does anybody [read this message]?” the same person wrote the next day.

However, not only the content of messages is surprising, but also their number. Another unknown user sent a poem dedicated to the Lightning Network, and another person sent an encrypted Pepe Frog card in a limited edition image of a frog that became a meme. Another unknown person sent a message with a hard-to-read meaning and mention of the popular Twitter user Dandarkpill, who stopped keeping his account on the site.

“Back when I can find the light,” the cryptic message reads, implying Dandarkpill is planning to come back some day and chose to communicate this by satellite.

“We can’t be sure if it was him or if the message was broadcast from the ‘memecave’ but we remain hopeful that this is a signal to say he is fine and will return one day,” pseudonymous creator “MediumSqueeze” told CoinDesk, calling them one of “our fallen soldiers.”

Space — in every home

Judging by the Blockstream website, users send a lot of messages using the system, and soon there may be even more. Today, the technology is launched in a test network, but MediumSqueeze hopes that it will soon go into the main network, that is, it will be used with real Bitcoin.

In December, Blockstream announced the expansion of its Blockstream Satellite blockchain data service to the Asia-Pacific region and the addition of transaction support for the Lightning Network. Among other things, thanks to a new interface API people can use satellites to send messages.

To send a message, the user pays a fee on the Lightning network. The platform is still experimental, but apparently, users are interested in it. The amount of payment depends on how much data is contained in the message. An image, for example, requires more data and, therefore, may be more expensive than in the case of broadcasting a couple of sentences.

“Blockstream made available an API which takes a message and returns a lightning network invoice, upon receipt of the invoice the message is sent to the satellite teleport then the payload is broadcast to the satellite array,” MediumSqueeze explains.

While and the Blockstream API simplify sending messages, the user needs a satellite receiver (for now) to receive them. Theoretically, each person could put such a receiver at home — you need about $100 to purchase the necessary equipment.

Former Blockstream CTO Gregory Maxwell, for example, posted photos of his satellite receiver on Bitcoin Talk and advised other users on how to build it.

What is the meaning of the idea

Is it possible to regard the technology as just another novelty, or is there a reason to use Bitcoin to send messages via satellite?

“Right now, it’s just for fun,” MediumSqueeze told CoinDesk.

But some developers believe that technology opens up new possibilities.

“It could be used anonymously to broadcast a message to the world. It can’t be stopped by a mainstream media outlet, Internet Service Provider (ISP) or government, ” he told CoinDesk, adding:

“Posting it on a third party site like social media is censorable, even with an anonymous account. Your own website would be less so, but they can find you more easily. Encrypted message/email or whatever would be censorable by going after a few people. Broadcasting it globally would be very hard to stop.”

Author: Marko Vidrih

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