The European Space Agency (ESA) is currently funding a blockchain-based project focused on improving and streamlining processes in the mining industry. According to a report by Oil & Gas Middle East, the ESA, an international body dedicated to the exploration of space has now co-funded this new project with Scottish startup Hypervine. The European Space Agency blockchain project aims to tackle problems within the mining industry and improve transparency by combining satellite technology and blockchain.
European Space Agency Blockchain Project
The ESA blockchain project seeks to leverage blockchain tech to create an immutable and unified mining ledger. This project will utilize Hypervine’s technology to create a mining database that will allow mining companies and other related stakeholders to record any data related to the mining process efficiently. An immutable mining ledger will go a long way to help improve transparency and could even reduce mining mishaps, miscalculations, or fatal accidents.
The European Space Agency blockchain project will replace paper-based data systems with a digital counterpart that records satellite sourced information on a distributed ledger. Mining firms are often saddled with the burden of sorting data from fragmented sources in a bid to obtain the right information they require to carry out their operations. This process of data sorting can sometimes take months to complete. The ESA project will fix this by providing mining firms with trusted and well-coordinated data. The project will also reduce the time required for data verification since paper-based recording requires multiple teams in different locations to verify its authenticity. These features will not only improve efficiency but will also cut costs across the board.
Blockchain is going to Space
The European Space Agency is also working on other blockchain-powered space initiatives. Last year, the ESA provided a grant of almost $66,000 to SpaceChain to help in the development of a satellite-based multi-signature wallet. The ESA has also published a whitepaper detailing a roadmap for blockchain utility for earth observation. The latest blockchain project focused on improving mining via satellite-powered tech proves that the organization is heavily invested in exploring blockchain use cases for space.
ESA Space Solutions technical officer, Beatrice Barresi has said that investment in satellite oriented technology for mining purposes has increased significantly.
According to her:
“It is a core goal of ours to make industries such as quarrying safer, cleaner, and more accountable. Working with companies such as Hypervine allows us to achieve these goals whilst improving the standards across multiple industries. It has been great working with Hypervine on this project, and we look forward to the next phases to come.”
Space: The Future of Mining
As technology improves, man will continue to venture deep into space, and eventually, terrestrial mining will evolve to become space mining. Several objects in space like asteroids, comets, and other near-earth objects contain massive deposits of valuable resources like hard rock minerals and precious metals. A NASA report estimates that the mineral resource of the asteroid belt may exceed $100 billion, proving that extraterrestrial mining is economically feasible.
The gold rush of the future belongs to space and it will attract several private companies and even governments. Initiatives like the European Space Agency blockchain project could form the building block of a similar program that will be utilized for data organization by the space miners of the future.