Outer Space: Bitcoin's Final Frontier?
Have no fear, Bitcoiners. Should Bitcoin’s block chain public ledger ever get Goxed here on Earth, a backup in space -- yes, in outer space! -- could come to the rescue. Seriously.
Futurist, Bitcoin pioneer and huge fan of the final frontier Jeff Garzik said nearly two years ago that he wanted to blast satellites into orbit to beam the bitcoin block chain down to our planet from the great beyond.
He wasn’t kidding, and he’s just taken a very real, not so small step in the direction of his space dreams.
Garzik’s spaceflight startup Dunvegan Space Systems announced today that it has penned a "preliminary design contract" with Deep Space Industries to build an orbital node system for the BitSat project.
The nonprofit initiative, which Garzik is drumming up donations to help fund, aims to create a “constellation of tiny BitSats [satellites] continuously broadcasting the latest bitcoin block from orbit…. “ You know, just in case of “disruptions or outages to the terrestrial bitcoin P2P mesh network.”
.@gregoryagnes Yes! BitSat donations requested to 1M9MyyPsAak7zRjW4D96pTxDaAEpDDZLR7 Donate 1.0 BTC or more, for special sponsorship lvl.— Jeff Garzik (@jgarzik) April 23, 2014
Here’s how it will all work, direct from a statement jointly released today by Garzik’s company and Deep Space Industries:
Bitcoin transactions become official once a group of them are encoded – or “solved” by independent computing efforts -- into a block and added to the blockchain, a record of every bitcoin transfer ever made. BitSats broadcasting the most recently solved blocks will provide a cross-check to verify that the blocks available on the terrestrial network haven’t been spoofed, as well as providing the latest blocks to locations off the terrestrial grid.
Raining Bitcoin’s block chain down on Earth might sound farfetched, but it’s more serious than snapping a pic of a pic of Dogecoin, a spin off digital currency that started as a joke, aboard the International Space Station, like astronaut Rick Mastracchio recently did.
If you’re inspired to put your bitcoins behind the donations-supported effort to create and fly the BitSat system -- and into space in a roundabout way -- you can pitch in via this donation address. Bitcoin payment processor BitPay is handling all contributions, which, if humblebrag tweets from donors are any indication, are already trickling in.
How many BTC do you want to bet the Winklevii boys will donate, if they haven’t already? The twin Bitcoin-boosting tech entrepreneurs footed their tickets to space aboard Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic in bitcoins and you can, too…. if you just happen to have $250,000 to spare. Make that 511.4 BTC (according to current Bitcoin prices at press time).