Bitcoin Core Developer Jeff Garzik has plans in motion to launch several small cube satellites [cubesat] into space. These satellites would serve as a full node for the Bitcoin network, presumably as an “honest source” of the Bitcoin blockchain. All that is needed to stop a Sybill attack is one honest node, and this node in space would be that node. This cubesat node would be in orbit and would broadcast a verified blockchain to any node that will connect with it. Conceivably in the future, connection with the dedicated Bitcoin node in space will be a prerequisite to Bitcoin network propagation of your transaction. Furthermore, these Bitcoin nodes in outer space could survive any catastrophic event on earth that could theoretically take down the internet and erase all easily accessible copies of the blockchain. Even if not enough cubesats can be launched into space to cover the entire world or major continents, with just one cubesat it would be possible to facilitate Bitcoin transactions in areas of the world without Internet.
Currently the cost to fire up a full Bitcoin node anywhere on Earth is very negligible in comparison with the estimated $2 million that would be required to get one of these cubesats into space. However, join me in agreeing that $2 million is not too large a price to pay for an added layer of security to the Bitcoin network. Jeff Garzik and Bitcoingrant.org say they have the sufficient interest to move the project along into Phase one. Phase one will consist of the creation of a team which will calculate all the specifications, costs, and data requirements for the cubesat and phase two will consist of construction and deployment of the cubesats. They have not yet begun earnest fundraising but you can keep track of their efforts at this address.
Just how many full nodes are there right now?
Blockchain has a 3d interactive map that shows current nodes that blockchain.info itself is connected to, at over 2000 nodes it is no wonder that wherever you are in the world your blockchain.info web wallet transaction will show up on the network almost instantly.
For a more complete look at how many Bitcoin nodes there are connected to the internet at this very moment, you have to check out getaddr.bitnodes.io. Bitnodes was created by Addy Yeow and has been funded by the Bitcoin Foundation as it provides an immensely helpful service to the Bitcoin developers. Each full node on the network is an obstacle to Bitcoins’ detractors.. Are you running one?
Have a cryptic day, mis amigos.