Following the CryptoKitty craze, the latest unique innovation in the Bitcoin Technical Community is a cosmic "message in a bottle."
Essentially, a few cents in Bitcoins allows for you to send a message through space, broadcasting it through a satellite, to the world.
This is made possible with Blockstream satellite, a young project developed over a year ago with the goal of making bitcoin accessible for people without internet access.
The launch of spacebit.live now allows users to send messages to satellites across the world for as little as 3 cents in testnet bitcoin.
In one notable message, someone wrote a simple yet truthful message about their life:
“So here I am, left my job, I have some money to keep me up and I’m building my first raspberry pi lightning node, and broadcasting messages from satellites. Still feels surreal at times.”
The next day, the same individual wrote:
"Still hard to grasp the fact, that I’m blanketing a big part of the Earth with my message, on demand, instantly. I wonder, does anybody [read this message]?”
What is interesting is the amount of messages being sent into space. Many unknown users have sent memes and other short memos. “Yo that’s crazy AF" was one of the many messages sent by an anonymous user.
Blockstream updated its software in December 2018. One new component is that with its new application programming interface (API) people could use their own satellites to send messages.
To use this feature, users pay a small fee in lightning (a new payment network now being built on top of bitcoin). This fee is correlated to how much data the message contains.
For example, sending a short message will cost much less in comparison to sending an image or a video.
For now, a user must have a satellite receiver in order to retrieve any messages.
“Blockstream made available an API which takes a message and returns a lightning network invoice, upon receipt of the invoice the message is sent to the satellite teleport then the payload is broadcast to the satellite array,” MediumSqueeze explains.
While the thought of sending messages to space is all fun and games now, Bitcoin podcast host Ansel Lindner believes in its huge potential.
This opens up new doors and opportunities for whistle blowers who exposes corrupt and unethical actions of corporations and government.
Satellite messages can be boradcasted uncensored and anonymously.
"It can’t be stopped by a mainstream media outlet, Internet Service Provider (ISP) or government, ” MediumSqueeze told CoinDesk, "“Without bitcoin I wouldn’t have too much faith for the future.”