blockstream satellite
goTenna with Blockstream Satellite
May 11, 2019
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Today we’re excited to announce goTenna’s integration with Blockstream Satellite, a service that broadcasts the Bitcoin blockchain and user API data from space. This new integration will allow users to share Bitcoin transactions from a full node via a local mesh network, enabling a decentralized solution for communities to transact, regardless of network disruptions.

Combining Blockstream Satellite and goTenna technologies, Bitcoin users will benefit in several ways, including:

An Alternative Transaction Channel

Traditional internet infrastructure is vulnerable to accidents or natural disasters causing outages which leave Bitcoin users and merchants unable to send payments or verify incoming payments. Having an alternative transaction channel means that the Bitcoin network becomes more resilient to disruptions.

More Private Transactions

Thanks to the ubiquity of satellite TV dishes, users can discreetly receive Bitcoin data via Blockstream Satellite and run a full node, without ever needing to send a packet onto the internet. Now, with the goTenna integration, users can also share transactions peer-to-peer and take advantage of the inherent confidentiality provided by mesh networking, since no single centralized entity controls the network.

Extending Satellite API Data

The Satellite API allows users to pay with bitcoin to broadcast messages or data globally via the Blockstream Satellite network. With the new goTenna integration, users without Blockstream Satellite hardware can still receive and relay the Satellite API data using their goTenna devices. Using mesh networking, more people can stay in touch, receive information, and pay each other in bitcoin.

Even people in areas where the internet is cut off due to natural disasters, accidents, or other causes can receive encrypted data, messages from family, and other types of potentially crucial information via a single Blockstream Satellite device connected to a mesh network of goTennas.

How it Works



goTenna hardware communicates with a local Bitcoin node through the txtenna-python script, written by Richard Myers, Decentralised Application Engineer at goTenna. Using txtenna-python, users only need to obtain an SDK token and connect their goTenna Mesh hardware to their computer via USB to:

Getting Started

To get started relaying Bitcoin transactions and Satellite API data to your local area, a goTenna Mesh device and Blockstream Satellite receiver are required.

To set up a goTenna device, follow the documentation for txtenna-python located here. To set up a Blockstream Satellite receiver, documentation can be found here, video tutorials can be found here, and a list of parts for the Americas coverage area can be found here.