How Bitcoin Might Help the World's Oppressed Sidestep Censorship

Published on by Coindesk | Published on

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A more recent effort is being waged by a small but global group of developers who are sending messages using satellites paired with software from the bitcoin technology startup Blockstream, initially deployed with the grand goal of allowing people worldwide access to bitcoin even if they didn't have internet.

Bitcoin plays a crucial role in this scenario because the messages themselves need to be paid for.

The idea is that once the messages are aired, the messages are distributed across the globe.

In a message to CoinDesk, he elaborated on the idea: "It seemed like info you can receive without any third party interference would be of value to parts of the world where information controls try to stifle [] access to news, information, or anything in between."

Using satellites to stop censorship is actually far from a new idea.

Live to send the messages by satellite with just a small fee paid in BTC. "The news is immutable in the fact that anyone worldwide with a basic satellite dish, some software, and a little knowledge can receive it. No controls on internet, cellular data, or state control can stifle it. There are numerous oppressive countries that censor everything from whole sites to certain keywords. In a world of companies kneeling to these demands, it seems only right to provide people with all the available information," SafetyFirst contends.

Again, bitcoin factors into this arrangement because the messages need to be paid for, explains Grubles, community manager for Blockstream.

If there are too many messages trying to be sent at once - the one that pays the most bitcoin wins.

When paying to send controversial or politically charged message, bitcoin makes more sense than, say, PayPal, which generally has an identity tightly linked to it and could face sanction or funds freeze.

"Lightning is great for this since you can pay and quickly broadcast a message if needed, and also pay very small amounts of bitcoin if your data, or message, is small," Grubles added.