4 World-Firsts by SpaceChain
Since its inception in 2017, SpaceChain has claimed the first spot on several world lists.
Given the company’s innovative solutions integrating blockchain and space, this feat was inevitable. However, one cannot deny the risks surrounding innovations. What’s on paper may or may not translate to practical reality. Thankfully, SpaceChain has realized them both in name and substance, establishing itself as a blockchain-integrated space utility pioneer.
SpaceChain’s ideology behind blockchain in space is to foster an open-economic model for scaling space-oriented projects. So, the company places blockchain nodes onto satellites in space. Over time, several such nodes collectively will become a satellite constellation and serve as a platform for hosting blockchain-based space applications. Blockchain’s secure, immutable, and decentralized protocol is conducive to running outer space applications, and SpaceChain identified this early on. It didn’t take long before the company actualized the idea through research and experimentation, giving the world a list of firsts.
1. First Blockchain-enabled Satellite Launch
On February 2, 2018, there was a lot of buzz about SpaceChain launching the world’s first-ever blockchain-enabled satellite payload into space. The satellite was aboard a CZ-2D rocket that took off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center situated in the Gobi Desert. SpaceChain’s payload contained a Raspberry Pi board that could run a full-node program on the Qtum blockchain. Reportedly, the node was offline at the time, had limited functionality, and could process the blockchain’s data. With this launch, Qtum became the first-ever space-based blockchain node.
2. First Space-Based Multisignature Blockchain Transaction
On August 18, 2020, SpaceChain announced the successful demonstration of the world’s first multisignature blockchain transaction in space. SpaceChain’s Co-founder and CTO, Jeff Garzik, who was also an initial Bitcoin developer, traded approximately 0.01 BTC to two Bitcoin addresses. Later, the transaction slip was made public as a testimony. To execute the transaction, a ground station transferred the encrypted data to the International Space Station (ISS), where a private key stored within a hardware wallet signed it. Nanosatellite manufacturer and operator, GomSpace, designed the hardware to support the multisignature software.
3. First Space-Based Cryptocurrency Exchange Node
On June 30, 2021, the Biteeu space node created by SpaceChain migrated to space aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Biteeu established itself as the world’s first cryptocurrency exchange to adopt a high-security space infrastructure for Bitcoin transactions with this launch. SpaceChain laced the Biteeu node with multiple security mechanisms, including satellite latency and multisignature technology. By leveraging latency in communication between ground stations and satellites, the node could prevent quick transfers of digital assets under circumstances of fraud and hacks. Similarly, the multisignature technology ensured the safety of funds by giving multiple users the authority to validate transactions on a single crypto wallet address.
4. First Open-Source Satellite Constellation based on Blockchain Nodes
SpaceChain is building the world’s first open-source, blockchain-based, decentralized satellite infrastructure (DSI)- a platform that will facilitate running blockchain applications in space. Essentially, it will be a satellite network composed of blockchain nodes that will conform to the decentralized protocol of blockchain technology in space.
With the burgeoning of Web 3.0, as decentralization becomes mainstream, there will be a surge of blockchain projects. In this scenario, SpaceChain’s DSI will gain more prominence as it will further the core traits of blockchain, leveraging space-grade technology. The DSI will prompt the development and running of several blockchain applications in space, such as peer-to-peer messaging, global real-time sensor arrays, Space VR, Cryptocurrency exchanges, data storage, etc. Moreover, it will stimulate opportunities in the blockchain-space market for small and large-scale vendors, developers, manufacturers, and service providers.
However, DSI is currently a work in progress. SpaceChain, together with its consortium partners, is building the DSI with heterogenous spacecraft in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Multiple parties in multiple jurisdictions will regulate these spacecraft to eliminate monopolies and democratize space access.
SpaceChain describes its journey as “Light-years traversed at lightning speed,” and the above list substantiates this phrase. The company has several achievements to its name, and with more innovations under its belt, this list will continue to grow. SpaceChain’s initiatives are futuristic, economical, revolutionary, and above all, feasible.
As Web 3.0 gains momentum and ‘decentralization’ gets mainstream, SpaceChain’s vision of taking decentralized technology to space will resonate with everybody. It is only a matter of time.
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