All activities around bitcoin are essentially linked to the almost essential use of an internet connection. In the event of difficulty in accessing them, we could therefore witness a paralysis of these activities. To remedy this, Blockstream has developed a system that enables the Bitcoin blockchain (BTC) to be mined through satellites. BitMEX has just successfully tested the satellite nodes of the Blockstream solution. The exchange thus shared its impressions on the use of this new tool through a blog post.
Sufficient bandwidth to operate Bitcoin nodes
Bitmex had to shell out the sum of US $ 1,200 to acquire the Blockstream Satellite Pro Kit and the Blockstream flat screen antenna. Once the equipment was acquired, a test was carried out followingan installation of the kit described as easy by the blog post. After synchronization with the satellite node, another was also made with an internet connection for comparison purposes. Bitmex thus noticed a delay of 5 to 10 seconds between the detection of a block made by the satellite node and the one based on the internet.
When it comes to downloading and verifying the blocks in their entirety, this delay was two minutes. Despite this slowness, BitMEX described the bandwidth offered by Blockstream’s satellites as sufficient for mining Bitcoin nodes. The blog post also notes that the satellite node download of blocks was done on a discontinuous basis. In the rest of the test carried out, it showed an ability to fill in the gaps of the missing blocks. However, BitMEX reports that the knot often had difficulty catching the end of the chain once it was 4 or 5 blocks behind.
A mixed assessment which calls into question the relevance of its usefulness
While acknowledging a pleasant installation and operation of the satellite-based Bitcoin node, Bitmex throws a big chill on its usefulness. The exchange actually believes that it is unlikely to be found in conditions where its use would be relevant. Indeed, even with all the necessary equipment, it would be necessary to be able to operate the satellite stream to synchronize it with any incoming transaction.
However, everything is not to be painted black after the Bitmex test as it has indicated in its review. ” The satellite-based system has the potential to improve the censorship-resistant characteristics of the Bitcoin network and defend against certain forms of attack, its existence is likely a positive development. The blog post concludes.
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In addition to making internet access essential, Blockstream’s solution provides users with network stability with excellent global coverage. While acknowledging these merits, Bitmex believes it is much more of an entertainment tool for Bitcoin enthusiasts.