Cryptocurrency and New Space had to come together at some point. The immediate question, from a theoretical perspective, is whether the two emerging fields of decentralized Internet commerce and off-planet industrialism will prove to be cross-catalytic. When two lines of previously-distinct social escape intersect in this way, it is especially difficult to predict what will come forth.
From the WSJ link:
The whole thing, they estimate, will cost somewhere between $2-$5 million, which sounds absurdly low for a satellite system (they plan to raise the funds via a Kickstarter campaign). However, these nanosatellites, called “cubesats,” are really, really small – four inches – and are put into orbit by hitching rides on other launches, which greatly lowers the expense. Depending upon how much funding they get, they plan to put up to eight satellites into orbit.
This is not an effort to build a bitcoin platform that could survive some catastrophe that wipes out the Internet, said Mr. Garzik, BitPay’s senior software engineer and head of Dunvegan. “If you have a whole Internet disruption, then we can’t help you,” he told BitBeat. The satellite system will be wired into the existing bitcoin network. However, it will be protected in such a way that were there a localized attack on the network, the satellites could operate as a back-up system that would continue broadcasting updates to the blockchain. The other use, he said, would be to provide access to the bitcoin network to people in places where there’s spotty Internet connections but stronger mobile-phone connections, like Africa, he said.