One of the world’s leading and popular Bitcoin derivatives exchanges, BitMEX, has installed Blockstream’s Bitcoin satellite system.
It’s a way to download and to verify Bitcoin’s blockchain through a satellite without having to be connected to the Internet. Apart from the fact that one of the leading exchanges is showing open support for Bitcoin, this also showcases exciting features of the world’s largest cryptocurrency and its underlying network.
Bitcoin From Space: BitMEX Runs a Full Bitcoin Node Through a Satellite
[1/3] Bitcoin Satellite
We have installed the @Blockstream Bitcoin Satellite system, a way to download and verify Bitcoin’s blockchain via satellite, without the need for an internet connection
— BitMEX Research (@BitMEXResearch) September 14, 2020
The team concluded that installing the node was relatively easy, and it only took them a few hours. In essence, what one has to do is “install the satellite dish, point it in the right direction, connect it to a laptop running Linux and run some custom Blockstream software, along with a modified version of Bitcoin Core 0.19.1.”
BitMEX revealed that the most challenging part was the actual alignment of the dish to the geostationary satellite. Using the alignment tool properly, however, meant that the team had to spend about 15 minutes after that to get it set up.
An Important Network Highlight
Apart from supporting the network, in general, the feet highlights one of the important qualities of Bitcoin’s network – censorship resistance.
One of the most common questions that people generally ask is, “What would happen to Bitcoin if the Internet stops?”
Well, if the satellite connection has enough bandwidth, this is a perfect solution to that problem. It’s a way to download and verify Bitcoin’s network through a satellite, without having to be connected to the world wide web.
Of course, as BitMEX pointed out correctly:
Although many Bitcoin enthusiasts are likely to find installing and running the system enjoyable, it is unlikely to serve any practical purpose for most users.