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Issue #405: The future is here

Jan 24, 2019
Marty's Ƀent

Issue #405: The future is here

There I was just sitting here, a quarter of the way through writing about another topic, which I frankly wasn't so enthusiastic about, when our boy grubles tweeted out this story from an individual sending messages using the Lightning Network testnet and Blockstream's Satellite API. These screenshots and the journal entries written within them may not seem exciting at first, but they give us a very small glimpse into a potential future.

Our anon friend from a post-Soviet state is exploring the edges of a cypherpunk future a vast majority of the world doesn't even know exists yet. For you freaks who are a bit befuddled about what exactly is happening in the above screenshots, our dog-loving friend is broadcasting anonymous messages from some undisclosed position on Earth by paying micropayments via the LN to call on Blockstream's Satellite API, which then propagates the message around the world instantly to anyone who is listening for messages from the satellite. The possibilities that arise from being able to relay data via satellites and the LN are endless. Truly anonymous messages that cannot be traced back to their source that do not depend on Internet Service Providers.

The amount of leverage this tool gives the individual against the State should not be understated. With the existence of satellites that allow people to send anonymous messages around the world instantly for fractions of a penny, anyone anywhere who is so motivated can get their word out to humanity. While this example is but a few hundred random words transmitted over a week, imagine what types of systems and apps that will be built using this tech. A lot of people don't like to hear this, but Bitcoin shines best when it enables things the State doesn't like. For example, this tech could be used to route around the Great Firewall of China and share information about the Tianneman Square Massacre (30th anniversary this year). Beyond that very specific examples, dissidents and those who have been censored will be able to practice their inalienable right as a human to speak their mind without fear. Or at least in a fear-minimized way.

Without Bitcoin, I wouldn't have too much faith for the future either, my post-Soviet dog-loving friend.

Final thought...

I want to own a few cattle when I grow up.


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