There is a new wave of coders and hackers looking to upend the entire internet, signaling the start of a brand new space race.
No, this isn’t an episode of HBO’s Silicon Valley, this is actually happening.
Currently, the internet is built by large centralized services including server owners, data managers, cloud providers, search engines, telecommunication companies, and social media websites. And these entities are beginning to expand their reach.
Internet security and net neutrality are quickly becoming hot topics as more people become aware of the dangers of centralization. And for good reason. Google, Amazon, and Facebook are racing to create new infrastructure that could very well threaten the internet freedom which we have grown accustomed to. The way data is used and abused by massive corporations is taking center stage in discussions regarding the future of the internet, and people are demanding change.
And it’s no surprise that the crypto-fanatics are looking to disrupt this pattern, with some even looking towards the stars for solutions.
Blockchain, the tech that built bitcoin, and 2017’s hottest buzzword, could very well be the answer.
The technology has the potential to disrupt nearly every industry imaginable, and the internet is no exception. Everything is heading to the blockchain, from energy trading to citizenship identification. No stone will be left unturned.
It brings a voice to the voiceless, accountability to the unaccountable, financial services to those without resources, ownership to those lost in the system, and even identity to the stateless. On top of all of this, it could allow smaller entities a stake in some of the biggest and most powerful industries on the planet, which will ultimately chip away at the entire notion of “too big to fail.”
“The possibilities of this technology are limitless - it is a paradigm shift that will impact every industry in every corner of the world. Any centralized market place that is dominated by a few middle men is likely to be taken over by blockchain technology. Anything you can think of where the marketplace can become more democratic,” says Steve Nerayoff, CEO of Global Blockchain Technologies Corp., the world’s first publicly traded stock that invests in top-tier blockchain and digital currency innovations.
Indeed, this technology has the potential to create an entirely new internet, or at least, an entirely new way to share data in a completely decentralized fashion. And while this is still a long-term goal, some companies are looking to fuel the adoption of blockchain technology in the short-term.
Leading the way in blockchain adoption is Blockstream Inc., one of the world’s leading blockchain innovators. The company is at the forefront of the industry, providing new solutions to scaling issues, privacy issues, and security, and now, the company has created a satellite network with the goal of enhancing coverage and creating opportunity for the 4 billion people without internet access to participate in the blockchain revolution.
Bitcoin has become an entirely new e-commerce platform with the potential to change the lives of millions living in poorer countries with unstable currencies. And with blockchain satellites, anyone with a phone or a computer will be able to make and receive transactions, access data, or add to the distributed ledger.
“With more users accessing the Bitcoin blockchain with the free broadcast from Blockstream Satellite, we expect the global reach to drive more adoption and use cases for Bitcoin, while strengthening the overall robustness of the network,” says Dr. Adam Back, co-founder and CEO of Blockstream Inc.
Blockstream’s current satellite coverage.
Many argue that Blockstream’s approach is, in fact, centralized. But this is only the beginning. More and more companies are looking to send their platforms into space, as well.
Getting ahead of this trend is Global Blockchain Technologies Corp., an incubator for blockchain startups that are aiming to change the world. If there is something happening in the blockchain space, you will normally find Global Blockchain at the center of it - with the cryptocurrency induced stock explosion of Eastern Kodak being the latest example. And now, as the blockchain races to space, there will undoubtedly be a few Global Blockchain backed companies joining the fray.
The race is already underway however, with Vector, a forward-thinking nanosatellite startup, and Nexus, a blockchain developer, having teamed up to launch a new cryptocurrency hosted in space. According to Nexus, the currency will be completely decentralized, while granting greater transparency and freedom in accessing global financial services. Nexus also notes that, because the peer-to-peer network will be hosted in space, the services will not be tied to a nation-state, further protecting its users from data harvesting mega-corporations and overreaching governments.
Spacechain is another player with its eyes on the sky. Also using nanosatellites, the Singapore based company is looking to go head to head with the likes of Google and Amazon. Zheng Zuo, Spacechain’s ambitious 25-year-olkd CEO noted: “You can run a decentralized ecommerce platform, but in the backend, you’re using [Amazon Web Services],” adding, “It’s their technology infrastructure. After we all start depending on this centralized service, it’s hard to realize true decentralization.”
While each of these projects are looking to space for their own reasons, there is no doubt that others will follow, and as the competition grows thicker, so too will the possibilities.
It would not be farfetched to suggest that blockchain satellites could provide a new hedge against global catastrophe. Even if grids fall and ground-based internet infrastructure fails, satellites will still be able to beam down smart contracts, voting ballots, currencies, and more.
This race into space seems to be the perfect metaphor for blockchain’s unrelenting rise, a rise that investors and industry giants like Global Blockchain Technologies Corp are watching intently.
As the blockchain industry powers through milestone after milestone, it seems that the potential of this new tech is just being realized.
By Michael Kern
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