BitMEX operates Bitcoin (BTC) node from space

  • BitMEX has installed a satellite system that allows a Bitcoin node to function without the Internet.
  • This allows users to sync their Bitcoin nodes and download and verify entire blocks without the need for an internet connection.

To participate in the network of Bitcoin and confirm transactions and mine, an active internet connection is normally required. However, the central Bitcoin BitMEX has developed a new system that uses a satellite system to access the blockchain of Bitcoin. An internet connection is not required.

BitMEX tests Blockstream’s Bitcoin satellite system

In a new blog post, BitMEX introduces the “Bitcoin Blockstream Satellite System” as a promising way to download and verify the Bitcoin blockchain via satellite without the need for an internet connection. The bandwidth is even enough to keep the blockchain up to date:

Essentially all one needs to do is install the satellite dish, point it in the right direction, connect it to a Linux laptop, and run some custom Blockstream software, along with a modified version of Bitcoin Core 0.19.1.

As BitMEX describes, the connection is stable and it is possible to connect to the Bitcoin network in remote areas without the Internet. However, there is a delay of about 2 minutes on the Bitcoin nodes connected to the internet. At the same time, BitMEX notes that it has only been operating the new system for a few days and that current experience is limited:

The client downloads the blocks in chunks, first the head of the block in chunks, followed by the main body of the block, again in chunks. Based on the way the satellite transmits the block data, the node does not always download the blocks in a continuous order and is able to fill in the gaps of the missing blocks later.

This is another reason BitMEX points out that the new system has only limited practical use for most users. However, the satellite-based system is perfectly suited to improve the censorship resistance of the Bitcoin network and prevent some forms of ‘Eclipse attacks’. For the experiment, the Blockstream Satellite Pro Kit was tested with a flat antenna at a price of just under $ 1,200.


Internet censorship and coronavirus accelerate development

Sending cryptocurrencies can be challenging, especially in countries with a struggling economy and heavy censorship, such as Venezuela. Therefore, Criptolago has developed an offline payment system, following an official order from President Nicolás Maduro, which can be used in parallel to the traditional banking system.

Many cryptocurrencies known as Bitcoin, Litecoin The Dash they can be shipped offline. Another well-known and widely used service is Dash Text. The offline payment service already has more than 8,000 active users. Dash Text can be used to send the Dash cryptocurrency via SMS. Each phone is connected to a cartera Dash active. All transactions are processed in real time.

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