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Blockstream Satellite Now Means Most Of The World Can Use Bitcoin Without Internet

Blockchain technology company Blockstream revealed the second phase of its satellite-based Bitcoin communications project Blockstream Satellite this week.

Satellite Coverage Expands To Asia Pacific

Part of a plan to provide free private Bitcoin sending and receiving without the need for an internet connection, the company now provides satellite coverage of the Asia Pacific region, an accompanying blog post confirmed December 17.

Phase one of the project covered North and South America, Europe, and Africa.

A major proponent of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network (LN) implementation, Blockstream also unveiled an API to allow broadcast of data via Blockchain Satellite with fees paid via the protocol.

Developers promised the API would go live for users in January 2019.

“While satellite communications are traditionally cost-prohibitive, Blockstream Satellite will finally allow developers to adopt satellite communications in their applications,” head of Blockstream Satellite Chris Cook commented in the blog post.

…Natural disaster notifications, secure personal messaging, and sending bitcoin market data to remote locations are just some of the exciting examples of the power of this service.

blockstream satellite coverage

Battling Government Internet Control

The Satellite project originally launched in August 2017. It works via a series of Earth-based ground stations linked to the Bitcoin network transmitting blocks to a series of orbiting satellites. The satellites then rebroadcast the data to the coverage area.

At present, users running a node require only a small satellite antenna and USB receiver to keep it in sync with the network without an internet connection.

Asked about the location and “government-resistance” of the Earth-based equipment, CEO Adam Back acknowledged the trade-offs in the current status quo.

“[A]s a geopolitical neutral money Bitcoin needs to work robustly,” he wrote on Twitter.

[F]or today it depends which country, there is some diversity of ownership of the satellites. [B]ut there are 195 countries in the world, some of which have disabled internet & mobile phone service in times of turmoil.

What do you think about Blockstream Satellite? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock,

Úno 01

T-Mobile Data Sharing Creates Opportunities For Internet of Things And Bitcoin

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Mobile Data

Mobile Internet connectivity is playing an ever-increasing role of importance to consumers all over the world. But there is one thing that could do with some fine tuning, and that is having additional ways to use a data bundle across multiple devices. T-Mobile is working on a brand new feature that will let users do exactly that, although it will require the usage of additional SIM cards.

Also read: Bitcoinist Weekly News Re-Hash: Bitcoin Mining Milestone, DCG to go Public?

Spreading T-Mobile Data Plans Across Devices

For many consumers, it would make a lot more sense if they could spread their mobile data plan across all the devices they own. Based on the mobile device being used, it is already possible to set up a hotspot over 3G or 4G, with a few taps on the screen. But a more convenient solution has to be created, and T-Mobile is working on something along those lines.

By creating a new service to share data bundles across smartphones, tablets, and laptops, T-Mobile is giving consumers what they want. However, this new service is not without caveats, as users will need to obtain additional SIM cards to make use of this new tool. As a result, all of the devices will need to support SIM cards. Otherwise, the data plan will not be recognized.

Furthermore, using this new feature will be subject to a one-time fee of EUR 14,99, and depending on which subscription consumers have, additional fees might be applicable. Such a  hefty price begs the question whether or not this is more convenient compared to turning a smartphone into a mobile hotspot. Doing so removes the need for SIM card support on the other devices, as they can just connect to the newly created WiFi network.

However, there are certain types of projects that can benefit from this concept by T-Mobile. Now that the Internet of Things is gaining a lot more momentum, it becomes more important to connect as many devices to the Internet as possible. SIM Cards sharing the same data plan seems to be a great move in that regard, depending on how much data is being used in the end.

What makes this concept even more interesting for the Internet of Things and other projects, is how the SIM cards will have SMS capabilities. This will allow for real-time communication with the project owner and its users, assuming there would be a need for such a service. Whether or not many people will make use of the new T-Mobile service, remains to be seen.

Interesting News For Bitcoin Users, Sort Of

One resource the Bitcoin ecosystem has no shortage of is brilliant developers. This new feature by T-Mobile could be of use for various Bitcoin projects, such as price alerts, transaction confirmations, or other things. Using the mobile data to run a Bitcoin Node will not work, though, as those projects require a lot more bandwidth.

More devices capable of connecting to the Internet through one and the same plan could be quite beneficial to Bitcoin adoption in the long run. Many consumers are faced with excess mobile data every month, and being able to spread it across devices is a smart move by T-Mobile.

What are your thoughts on this decision by T-Mobile? Is it necessary to share mobile data with multiple SIM cards? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Tweakers

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, T-Mobile

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T-Mobile Data Sharing Creates Opportunities For Internet of Things And Bitcoin

Led 27

China’s Growing Number of Internet-Connected Users Is Positive For Bitcoin

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_China Growth

An interesting statistic was released earlier today, detailing how slightly over half of the Chinese population is now officially connected to the Internet. Despite being the world’s largest nation, Internet penetration has been a major issue in China for quite some time now. Especially mobile Internet is playing a big role in this number increase, which creates an interesting opportunity for adoption of new payment methods in the country.

Also read: Over Half of Mobile Payment Companies Have No Control Over Financial Data

Internet Connectivity In China Is on The Rise

For a country that is well known for its technological prowess, the status of not having half of its population connected to the Internet was not acceptable for China. Efforts have been underway for several years now to bring Internet connectivity to the Chinese population, and the numbers are confirming this spectacular growth.

Back in 2005, little over 100 million Chinese citizens were connected to the Internet. While that number is nothing short of impressive, only eleven percent of the people in China could access the world wide web through a computer or mobile device. Far from a stellar number for a country that is responsible for nearly every piece of technology we use today.

Ever since that time, the numbers have been increasing steadily, most notably in the mobile department. Whereas just one in four Chinese Internet users did so through a mobile connection in 2007, 90 percent of connected users is using mobile Internet these days. Out of the 688 million Internet users, 620 million are using mobile connectivity.

It is important to keep in mind these numbers will represent users who use both a computer and mobile Internet connection at the same time. This means the total number of Internet users in China could be slightly lower than 680 million right now, although it will not be by much. However, there is still a lot of work to be done for getting the remaining 50% of the country’s population online.

Another interesting statistic to keep in mind is how close to 73 percent of the Chinese population is aged between 15 to 64. That particular demographic is comprised of people who are most likely to connect to the world wide web these days. If the largest part of this demographic can get online in the next few years, China will surpass the threshold of one billion netizens.

Positive Signs For Bitcoin And Mobile Payments

It goes without saying that higher rates of Internet penetration in China is good news, particularly for players active in the mobile payment industry. With the number of Internet connections through mobile devices growing exponentially in China, the country is in a prime position to become a hub for mobile payment solutions.

Keeping in mind how Bitcoin is seeing most of its trading volume originate from China, the popular digital currency can benefit from this Internet boom as well. With wallet solutions available to both computer and mobile users, Bitcoin is well-positioned to become one of the leading payment trends in China over the next few years.

What are your thoughts on this Internet growth in China? Will Bitcoin adoption benefit from this situation? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Tech In Asia

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, China Internet Watch

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China’s Growing Number of Internet-Connected Users Is Positive For Bitcoin