Blockchain technology ended up in space. Last week, SpaceChain's cryptocurrency wallet, aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX, was launched into the stratosphere. The wallet is currently revolving around the Earth aboard the ISS.
Blockchain in space
On the 5th of December, in Florida's Cape Canaveral, SpaceChain, which is a blockchain industry's startup, sent its wallet to the International Space Station (ISS). According to a press release, the cryptocurrency wallet was transported to the ISS aboard the Falcon 9 rocket (the Dragon module, to be specific), in the framework of the CRS-19 mission, that is SpaceX's nineteenth supply mission and is part of a program organized by NASA. The payload with SpaceChain technology went to the ISS along with about 2.6 tons of supplies, spare parts and experiments' equipment.
For SpaceChain, this is a step forward in the mission to build a decentralized blockchain infrastructure high above the ground. The cryptocurrency wallet is supposed to be outside the jurisdiction of any country in the world and beyond the reach of any physical hardware hacking attacks. The startup sees its solution as a new, revolutionary way to increase the security of cryptographic transactions.
Further SpaceChain's plans
SpaceChain was founded in 2017 and is a platform combining both space and blockchain technologies. As Zee Zheng, the CEO and co-founder of SpaceChain, believes, the wallet will play a small but important role in the company's long-term goal, that is building the world's first satellite network based on blockchain, enabling users to create and launch decentralized applications in space.
The technology will soon be installed on a commercial platform located on the ISS, provided by the Nanoracks company. Then, SpaceChain will start testing a number of applications. According to the startup, the technology tested on the ISS will be applicable to cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets and custodial services that benefit from additional security in the verification process of transactions. The company believes that the new solution will enable companies to increase the security of digital assets transmission as they may be vulnerable to cyber attacks and hacking when hosted on centralized ground servers only.
For the development of its wallet, SpaceChain received a grant from the European Space Agency in September. The company explained at that time that its solution's aim is to increase transaction security by requiring two out of three private keys for signing and carrying out transactions. One of the three signatures is provided by the satellite node. In the event of a communication failure, however, there is a possibility to use two "ground-based" signatures to complete the transaction.
This is the company's third payload on the ISS, but, as the previous two took off from China, the first one from American soil. The company is already planning two more, which are planned to be launched within the next 18 months. The startup's plan is to use an Indian rocket next time, though.