SpaceX has been all over the news lately thanks to the company’s continuous efforts to commercialize space travel. Not only that, Elon Musk’s company has also been trying to send internet satellites into orbit for Starlink, which would provide cheap and accessible internet to consumers around the globe. However, if that was not enough, the company has now sent the SpaceChain blockchain hardware wallet technology to the International Space Station using a Falcon 9 rocket.
This is not SpaceX’s first space rodeo though as the company has been sending supplies over to the International Space Station for a while now. However, this time around, SpaceX managed to become the first company to send blockchain hardware to the International Space Station.
Blockchain cryptocurrency transactions will happen on the ISS now thanks to SpaceX
The Blockchain wallet technology is being sent over to the space station as a part of SpaceX’s CRS-19 mission which involves commercial resupplying of the station. The wallet, which belongs to SpaceChain, will be getting installed on a commercial platform operated by Nanoracks, a company that offers launch & payload services on the space station.
After the wallet is installed and activated, it will be able to receive, authorize and then re-transmit blockchain transactions. The wallet will help with improving the security of such transactions. However, currently, the wallet only supports Qtum blockchain, with support for Ethereum coming at a later date.
Here’s what Zee Zheng, the co-founder and CEO of SpaceChain had to say about the launch:
“The integration of space and blockchain technologies has uncovered new possibilities and opportunities. We are very excited about the prospect of working closely with financial service providers and fintech developers, IoT service providers, research institutions and space agencies in the coming months to further accelerate advancements within the ecosystem.”
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How will the wallet help with improving security?
While sending a blockchain wallet to space is a fascinating feat in its own regard, this entire operation actually does serve a purpose. The wallet promises to add to the security of blockchain transactions in a number of ways. Firstly, the wallet will be able to create “multisig” transactions which require signatures from multiple sources before they’re verified. This will help with increasing the security of the transactions.
However, the benefits don’t just end there as the incorporation with Nanoracks’ platform will allow the data to be uplinked and downlinked to and from the wallet. Basically, what this means is that the data will be transmitted between the wallet on the International Space Station and Earth.
According to SpaceChain, this back and forth system will add remoteness to the operation. Additionally, when you pair that with the security of the Space Station, it will make the blockchain technology much more secure. Henceforth, the project will be crucial for laying “the foundation for a new generation of products built on its technology”.
SpaceChain is leading the Blockchain Space Race
This is not the first time SpaceChain has made a deployment in space either. The company has been developing its satellite blockchain technology for a while now with some significant backing from the likes of European Space Agency. According to SpaceChain, transferring blockchain technology to space will massively help with reducing the biggest problem of digital transactions, security.
Most modern transactions that involve transmission of digital assets from one location to another are prone to cyber attacks to an extent. However, hosting these digital assets in centralized terrestrial servers will make them much more secure. Furthermore, it will also eventually lead us into the potential future of Space economy. SpaceChain hopes to be done with testing phase for the space blockchain technology by 2020.
Apart from delivering payload to the International Space Station, SpaceX also managed to safely retrieve most of the Falcon 9 components after deploying multiple satellites into the orbit for Starlink. The race for space commercialization is speeding up with new entrants like Amazon’s Blue Origin also joining the mix.
With the end result of colonizing Mars in our sight now, the next decade will be extremely fascinating and promising for the human race.