Yesterday software company Blockstream announced that it had expanded its satellite broadcasting of the bitcoin blockchain to include the Asia-Pacific region. The company, run by original cypherpunk Adam Back, previously had four satellites orbiting the Earth and broadcasting the full bitcoin blockchain across North America, South America, Africa, and Europe. (Residents of Antarctica and Greenland are still out of luck, though. Sorry.)
Everyone else—at least those with a small satellite receiver and “an inexpensive USB receiver”—can receive bitcoin blocks for free without internet access. Blockstream says that the satellites lower bitcoin’s dependency on the internet and decrease the likelihood of a node becoming isolated. Broadcasting the bitcoin blockchain via satellite makes the network potentially less corruptible by outside forces, like ISPs that might not adhere to A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto. The move aligns with what many believe to be the original vision of bitcoin: that of an uncensorable, pemissionless exchange of value.