Since December, a sophisticated set of satellites has beamed the entire Bitcoin blockchain to Earth to enable use of the network without an internet connection — but cryptocurrency fans are now harnessing its power to viciously troll each other.
Thanks to blockchain firm Blockstream, anyone at all can attach messages to Bitcoin transactions sent via the Lightning Network, later streamed to Earth all the way from space.
An automated bot deployed by community member @notgrubles has been sharing the texts with tweets, and lately, there’s an abundance of shitposts.
Satellites to help shed reliance on the internet
Bitcoin miners and nodes must communicate to keep the blockchain running smoothly, and while the network is indeed decentralized, it still overtly relies on the internet to function.
To help, Blockstream’s five satellites have been strategically positioned to provide maximum Earth coverage: one each over North and South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.
In that sense, Blockstream’s satellites serve as a safety net for Bitcoin‘s full nodes: if internet connections go down, network participants can switch to streaming their data via satellite to keep the dream alive.
It doesn’t cost $10 to send Bitcoin
Altcoin fans have also attempted to turn Bitcoin‘s satellites against itself by rehashing the meme that its fees are far too high to use the network efficiently (current average fee: $2.437).
Transaction fees aren’t a huge issue, especially in this instance. Blockstream handles payments for messages with the Lightning Network, so these texts are able to be sent for as little as 50 mSat per byte.
In fact, it would cost just 0.0000000340 BTC ($0.00044) to beam the phrase “This Bitcoin transaction did not cost more than $10″ to Earth.
If you’re keen to give the Blockstream Satellite a try, all you need is a little bit of Bitcoin, a wallet that supports the Lightning Network, and something worth saying. Check it out here.