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Bitcoin now online in Venezuela – First satellite node launched with Blockstream

Photo of: Sangeetha Golchha
by Sangeetha Golchha

Avid Bitcoin followers in Venezuela now do not need the internet to deal with Satoshis. Today Cryptobuyer, the crypto payments startup has announced the successful launch of the first Bitcoin satellite node with the collaboration between Cryptobuyer, Blockstream, and a team led by a crypto enthusiast named Annibal Garrido.

Source: Twitter

The initiative will now let the interaction with Bitcoin blockchain without the need for any internet connection. A satellite antenna which is installed in Venezeula will be taking care of the communication between the node and the blockchain.

It is known that Venezuela has a rather poor network connectivity infrastructure. But that’s not a worry anymore because Venezuela gets its first Bitcoin satellite node capable of processing transactions without the need for any internet connectivity. 

The ‘Space Node’ set in the country by Anibal Garrido and the Anibal Cripto team makes use of technology from Blockstream. The procedure is such that it contracts a satellite called EUTELSAT-113 to disseminate data between points through offline connections. This news is considered a future-changing moment especially in a country where the internet infrastructure is lacking. 

Cryptobuyer is the brain behind this idea. It is a Latin American Startup that focussed on offering cryptocurrency-based payment solutions. CEO Jorge Farias told in a statement:

“We started in Venezuela because of the obvious connectivity problems and Cryptobuyer is always looking for a way to be resilient to these kinds of problems by anticipating any possible contingency.”

Anibal Garrido has further explained that the node on the ground gets the data packet through a satellite directly from the connection that is provided by Blockstream. He added that with this step he hopes he is able to expand accessibility with the deployment of something similar like a mesh network which can also transmit data between different devices. 

There will be three nodes that will be deployed. The first node will be deployed in Valencia an the other two nodes will be deployed in the capital region of Caracas and Puerto Ordaz. The major reason to choose Valencia is that it is the most industrialized city there and also does not have any tall buildings which could block the signals if they were present there. 

Blockstream will contract many satellites to provide communication service between the nodes and the blockchain. Cryptobuyer has bought in the requisite equipment to get the signal and thereby connect it to the satellite. The team of Anibal Garrido will be in charge of the assemblage of the antennas and will ensure the required adjustments are made.

Source: Twitter

Alvaro Perez, a software programmer from Valencia City has been prominent in the setting up of the entire infrastructure. In a list of statements compiled by Cryptobuyer in its official blog post, the software programmer said that the operation in itself is a great achievement. 

“We downloaded the whole Bitcoin blockchain and successfully carried out the first transaction through a Bitcoin satellite node in our country on September 23, from the city of Valencia (…) We received bitcoin through the satellite connection without any internet connection. It was a moment of great achievement.”