Bitcoin Pioneer Wants to Create Global Network of Bitcoin Satellites for Some Reason

By Chris Mills on at

I know Bitcoin people talk a lot about blue-sky thinking, but this is a little extreme: one Bitcoin advocate wants to create a global constellation of satellites to ensure that the Bitcoin standard never gets corrupted or impeded by those nasty regulators.

The Bitcoin standard relies on everyone having access to the 'blockchain', basically a list of all the transactions carried out that lets people work out how much money is in each Bitcoin wallet. Without access to the blockchain, Bitcoin would more or less fall apart.

Because of this vulnerability, Jeff Garzik, one of the main contributors to the Bitcoin source code, wants to put a constellation of small, low-cost 'cubesats' in orbit, which would constantly broadcast the blockchain to eager Bitcoinists (Bitcoiners?) the world over, as a 'backup' to the main internet system.

Garzik claims that he could have the system up and running for just £3 million, and is launching a Kickstarter (of course it's a Kickstarter) in August to try and fund things, with a launch aimed for a year afterwards.

Aside from my obvious question about who the hell would fund this, I also can't help but feel that this erodes some of Bitcoin's core philosophy. One of Bitcoin's main strengths (according to all the emails that I delete from Bitcoin evangelists), is the lack of infrastructure or regulatory body. As soon as you create something as complex as a network of satellites, you're going to need an individual or firm to manage it, the upload stations, ongoing maintenance etc., which means you're going to place much of Bitcoin's power in the hands of a few individuals -- exactly the sort of thing that Bitcoin, allegedly, is trying to avoid. [Telegraph]