Bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik has signed a deal to build mini-satellites capable of preserving critical bitcoin data.

Dunvegan Space Systems announced on March 12th a new contract with Deep Space Industries to build a unit of mini-satellites, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Dunvegan CEO Jeff Garzik, who also works for BitPay and contributes to the development of the bitcoin core, initially planned to use mini-satellites to mine bitcoins. But as bitcoin miners on Earth became more and more efficient, he abandoned this idea and realized that mini-satellites could instead provide a way to store secure backups of the blockchain. It would not save the blockchain were the Internet to be destroyed entirely, but it would survive in the event of a powerful localized attack, says Garzik. The system could also, according to him, provide access to the bitcoin network in places like Africa, which have poor Internet connectivity but well-developed mobile phone networks.

The mini-satellites, to be known as ‘BitSats’, will be 30x10x10 cm in size, equipped with solar panels and orbiting in ‘constellations’ of 24 units each. To cover the costs, Dunvegan will also offer paid storage services to companies that might be interested in hiding their data from attacks and paid broadcast services to “any location on Earth”.

Dunvegan is not the first bitcoin company to go into space. As CoinFox reported earlier, the wallet provider Xapo plans to store encryption keys on a satellite.