Lightning network now available on Blockstream satellites



Lightning network now available on Blockstream satellites Crypto Heroes

Crypto-based company Blockstream now supports lightning network (LN) and the service will make it possible for users to broadcast their own message via the network. The company is expected to make the service available worldwide by January next year.

LN feature to attract more users

Crypto and blockchain companies have been rolling out services that will help them attract more users and help boost the adoption of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Blockchain startup firm, Blockstream which was launched with the aim of finding new ways to fast-track innovation in cryptocurrencies, open assets, and smart contracts has made giant strands recently by offering updates on its Blockstream Satellite project.

Yesterday, on December 17, the company announced that it has expanded its satellite services to the Asia-Pacific region. Blockstream has also announced that it has added support for lightning network transactions, making it possible for users to pay for their services using the “layer 2” scaling solution.

Prior to yesterday, the Blockstream Satellite was covering North and South America, Europe, and Africa. The recent satellite launched will now see them cover the Asia-Pacific region which is the most populous part of the world.

This latest update comes with a new messaging feature that will enable users to broadcast their messages from the satellites. The data transmission of the messages can be paid for using LN micropayments.

Chris Cook, head of the Blockstream Satellite project while commenting on this latest development stated that “While satellite communications have traditionally been cost-prohibitive, Blockstream Satellite will finally allow developers to adopt satellite communications in their applications.” He added that broadcast costs “are very low, which make them more suited to lightning payments” compared to primary network transactions.

Cook further stated that “The benefits include prevention of network partitioning, the ability to use bitcoin in remote areas where internet connectivity may be limited, and it can also be a way to have a secure, fully synced node for a wallet (as it’s receive-only, [there’s] no risk of getting hacked).”

The CEO of the company, Adam Back is of the view that adding support for LN will bring a significant benefit to the services offered by the company. He stated that “Lightning adds privacy due to its use of onion routing, and off-chain netting; and lightning better supports micropayments that are lower transaction cost, faster and more scalable. These are advantages for retail and web API use-cases generally, and help make the satellite data API service efficient and connect in with other bitcoin-related infrastructure.”

Cook pointed out that Blockstream is slowly moving towards global expansion. The five satellites currently available are just a start and they are expected to launch more in the future. He stated that “Four satellites are currently active, with coverage over North and South America, Europe, Africa, and now the Asia Pacific. More will be added in the future to complete global coverage.”

Blockstream Satellite API important to Global Bitcoin Infrastructure

The Blockstream satellites will become the next step for global Bitcoin infrastructure. The satellites which were first launched in August 2017 were aimed at broadcasting Bitcoin blockchain data from satellites in space to people all over the globe. Back then, Adam Back stated that the service was targeting individuals that have limited internet access to those who face issues making use of Bitcoin.

He stated that “the launch of the Blockstream Satellite API represents the next step in global Bitcoin infrastructure.” He further added that “For the first time, everyone has open access to a broadcast medium completely external to the internet, bringing reliable message transmission and Bitcoin access to the remotest of locations. With the Asia-Pacific expansion, Blockstream Satellite users are now able to reach over 90% of the world’s population with their messages. All of this is made possible thanks to micropayments enabled by Bitcoin and the Lightning Network.”

Updates to API access for the new services would be launched by January next year. The team is of the view that more features for the satellites will be added later on and they are hopeful that it has a positive impact on the Bitcoin community.

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