Is Blockstream a peril to Bitcoin’s decentralization? – Decrypt

In brief

  • Canadian blockchain developer Blockstream is prominent in building out the Bitcoin ecosystem.
  • The company’s interests in funding Bitcoin core development, mining, and satellites have raised concerns over centralization.
  • Blockstream refutes the concerns, noting that it cannot dictate what miners do with its equipment.

There are few companies doing as much for Bitcoin as Blockstream. The Canadian blockchain developer is prominent in building out the ecosystem for the world’s biggest cryptocurrency, with a core mission of delivering sidechains to enable Bitcoin to scale.

It’s also behind other prominent initiatives: providing early funding for Bitcoin’s scaling solution, the Lightning Network, and launching a Blockstream satellite system, to name but two.

But since it was founded in 2014, Blockstream has been dogged by accusations of conflict of interest. Critics claim that the sole sidechain it’s developed to date, the Liquid Network, doesn’t meet community needs, and they warn that Blockstream Satellite and Blockstream Mining could
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