Bitcoin users’ ability to send transactions through outer space has just been given a boost.

Blockchain technology firm Blockstream announced Monday that it has expanded its satellite service to the Asia-Pacific region. It’s also added support for lightning network transactions, allowing users to pay for its service using the “layer 2” scaling solution.

The company first launched Blockstream Satellite in August 2017, which lets bitcoin users transfer bitcoin through leased satellites. Initially, users in Africa, Europe and the Americas were able to utilize the system. At the time, CEO Adam Back said the service was aimed at individuals with limited internet access or who otherwise face issues accessing bitcoin.

In the months since launch, response to the service has been positive, he told CoinDesk Monday.

“There are third-party developers that have taken an interest to build local infrastructure using the satellite service, for example connecting it with mesh networks to make bitcoin more accessible in emerging markets,” Back said, regarding applications using the service.

The addition of an API integrating the lightning network apparently came after users expressed interest in sending bitcoin-related data.

Back said:

“Lightning adds privacy due to its use of onion routing, and off-chain netting; and lightning better supports micropayments that are lower transaction cost, faster and more scalable. These are advantages for retail and web API use-cases generally, and help make the satellite data API service efficient and connect in with other bitcoin-related infrastructure.”

Back was unable to share any user statistics, due to the fact that Blockstream Satellite uses passive receiver technology.

To use the service, users need a small satellite dish – TV satellite receivers work fine – that’s connected by USB to a personal computer or a piece of dedicated computer hardware such as a Raspberry Pi. Free, open-source software, such as GNU Radio, can be used for managing the connection.

“Recipients can receive bitcoin data without their [internet service provider] being able to see the transactions,” Back explained.

The service itself has demonstrated “excellent” up-time, and the network includes redundancies to ensure reliability.

“The system is designed to auto-recover from a 24-hour outage in user equipment, by continuous retransmission of recent data as well as live data,” he said.

This post is credited to coindesk

Bitcoin cash has been confirmed as the second cryptocurrency payment option by subscription model pay-TV provider, DISH. As announced on the company’s website, in addition to bitcoin which was adopted in 2014 as a payment system, subscribers can now pay for services using bitcoin cash.

Since 1980, DISH Network Corporation has played a significant role in the evolution of pay-TV. The company provides services to millions of customers across the globe through its numerous subsidiaries. The services include satellite DISH TV and streaming Sling TV services. The company also operates a national in-home installation workforce and advertising solutions among other services.

Maintaining Brand Versatility

The adoption of bitcoin cash by DISH happens at a time when the company is also migrating to BitPay as a new blockchain payment processor for cryptocurrency transaction with customers.

John Swieringa, executive vice president and chief operating officer of DISH, notes that the addition of bitcoin cash as a payment system is aimed at serving customers who have adopted a new way of doing business.

“We have a steady volume of customers paying with cryptocurrency each month, and BitPay will allow us to continue offering more choice and convenience to our customers.”

BitPay is the pioneer company in bitcoin and blockchain payment processing. With offices in North America, Europe and South America, the company is also established in cross-border payments, and enables consumers to manage digital assets with the BitPay Wallet.

Enabling a Seamless Transition

To pay with bitcoin or bitcoin cash, a one-time payment is executed by a DISH customer through the website or DISH’s hopper DVR. On sending the exact payment amount in bitcoin or bitcoin cash, BitPay exchanges the funds into U.S. dollars immediately, thereby avoiding the risk of volatility usually associated with cryptocurrency transactions.

According to Sonny Singh, chief commercial officer of BitPay, the goal of his company is to offer DISH Network a seamless transition that will enable all customers who are currently use bitcoin for payment to have the extra option of paying with bitcoin cash.

Singh notes that cryptocurrency is an increasingly popular way for customers to make purchases and pay for services online as it reduces credit card fraud and is cheaper for the merchants.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

This post is credited to CCN