Blockstream’s crazy bet – Cryptocurrencies

2011. Bitcoin has only been around for two years and already new cryptocurrencies are emerging. All of them have the same ambition: to become “the new Bitcoin”. Each compensates for an alleged Bitcoin insufficiency: slow transactions, small blocks, heavy network … Each crypto claims to have a good reason to exist. The appearance of these “altcoins”, as they are called, will grow exponentially over the years. There are several thousand of them today. One company made the opposite bet: focus on Bitcoin to continue and improve Satoshi Nakamoto’s work.

Behind Blockstream, Bitcoin’s DNA

Blockstream was founded in winter 2014 by several historical developers of Bitcoin.

Among its creators, we find big names in protocol. Pieter Wuille, Gregory Maxwell, Matt Corallo, but also the inventor of the Hashcash, Adam back, Blockstream CEO since 2016.

The one that Nakamoto cited in his white paper for his work on the proof-of-work is one of the faces of Blockstream.

Portrait of Adam Back, CEO of Blockstream and also known for his work on Hashcash, used in Bitcoin

Their idea: improve and develop bitcoin so that the protocol reaches the maximum of his potential. Their priority is innovation.

The concern is that the slightest implementation on Bitcoin requires following a process long and tedious. These are the famous BEEP (Bitcoin Improvement Proposal), which developers, then miners, must validate.

The slightest change to Bitcoin’s protocol can take years to be validated. But this is also what guarantees the robustness and the safety of the cryptocurrency of Satoshi.

The team of Blockstream will therefore focus from the start on the overlays. Ancillary protocols linked to the main Bitcoin chain intermittently. These “sidechains” allow you to experiment without jeopardizing the entire protocol. And have many advantages that the main chain does not have: flexibility, the speed, the lightness.

Many innovations

Based at Canada, but spread all over the world, the team of Blockstream is discreet.

Unaccustomed to pouring out on social networks, she does considerable work instead. One of his greatest successes: the Lightning Network. Proposed in 2015 by developer Rusty Russel, Lightning is a decentralized overlay of the protocol Bitcoin.

It allows you to send instant and almost shipping even bitcoin transactions very small. It makes possible micropayments lightning, fixed idea and reason for being many altcoins.

In parallel, the team is also working on the development of Liquid. Another less decentralized sidechain, more intended for exchanges and to financial institutions. It allows frictionless and secure movement of large quantities bitcoins, inexpensively.

Blockstream also emphasizes the confidentiality of the network. It is developing many protocols to improve it. She is also working on an implementation language for smart-contracts on Bitcoin.

You will therefore understand: for Blockstream, only Bitcoin, “The safest and most solid blockchain” matters. Who needs a shitcoin when you just have to improve the king ?

Bitcoin values ​​at the heart of Blockstream

This race forward and this thirst for innovation are not done blindly, however. Blockstream keeps its values.

Among them is the security, the decentralization, and independence. Because despite having raised $ 76 million since its creation, the company tends towards a certain autonomy.

So, in 2019, it reveals an important Park of mining of bitcoin. This allows him, in addition to producing income in bitcoins, not to depend on other minors. With him, she has a strong decision-making power, to vote, on her main means of subsistence, Bitcoin.

Similarly, the company has embarked on an ambitious project to satellite coverage.

A constellation of satellites allows it to spread the blockchain of bitcoin all over the globe.

“The Blockstream Satellite network distributes Bitcoin blockchain all around the world for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It offers a guarantee against any interruption to the network, and the possibility for everyone to use Bitcoin wherever they are. ”

Blockstream site

Blockstream ensures that nothing and no one can harm bitcoin – and therefore to the company. No state, no corporation, no technical failure.

The satellite is one of the major innovations of Blockstream: Bitcoin blockchain transmitting wave satellites, without the need of internet


Blockstream is one of the companies that is currently working the hardest to develop Bitcoin.

The team is made up of two Bitcoin developers, Pieter Wuille & Andrew Chow. Three Lightning developers, Rusty Russel, Christian Decker & Lisa Neigut. And three cryptographers, Andrew Poelstra, Tim Ruffing & Jonas Nick. It also employs several dozen employees.

Blockstream has solidly established its reputation and has become, over the years and its achievements, an industry leader. If Satoshi Nakamoto was still around, it’s a safe bet that he would certainly be working on it … By the way, speaking of Satoshi, did you know that there could be some …. 11?

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