Blockchain startup, SpaceChain has received a 60,000 euro ($66,400) grant from the European Space Agency (ESA). This funding is intended to facilitate the development of a European Space Agency blockchain initiative involving the creation of a satellite-powered blockchain multi-signature wallet. The ESA grant forms part of the organization’s “Kick-Start activity.” This program was created to offer financial aid to companies that are developing space-related services to support the Atlantic Area’s economic and environmental development.
SpaceChain Satellite-Powered Blockchain Network
The satellite-powered blockchain network was conceived by SpaceChain back in 2017. The blockchain startup envisioned a space-based blockchain network capable of completing transactions outside earth and allowing humans in space to run or develop decentralized applications. This satellite-powered blockchain network runs on an open-source operating system designed by SpaceChain. The company has successfully flight-tested two of its blockchain nodes in outer space.
By utilizing open-source software, SpaceChain has ensured that its blockchain network is accessible to everyone. As the global community begins to interact through this blockchain network, SpaceChain hopes to usher in an era of space collaboration. By employing advanced blockchain cryptography, SpaceChain has been able to improve the security and immutability of its network.
Satellite Blockchain Wallet
With a grant from the European Space Agency, SpaceChain can now move forward with the development of a satellite-powered blockchain wallet for commercial purposes. SpaceChain is building this satellite-powered blockchain wallet to help enhance transaction security and protect the integrity of its network. Users will be required to sign two out of three private keys to complete transactions on the SpaceChain blockchain network.
Signature from a satellite-based node is required to complete transactions while two ground-based signatures serve as alternatives if there is a connection error. For SpaceChain, the security of its network is extremely crucial, especially considering the security failures of other blockchain networks and fintech solutions over the years.
Highlighting this importance, CEO Zee Zheng had this to say:
“The fintech industry currently suffers from low levels of security in relation to the storage and transmission of digital currency, preventing it from achieving the same level of professionalism and trust as the traditional banking industry.”
Blockchain in Space
As blockchain technology keeps evolving, space exploration juggernauts like NASA and the ESA are studying the technology to find new ways to use it to help conquer space. So far, these organizations have concluded that blockchain technology offers exciting possibilities for both on-ground data processing and in space for efficient navigation.
NASA has invested its resources into developing blockchain systems that improve aircraft data security as well as helping spaceships track and avoid debris without human intervention. The latter will be particularly useful for deep space travel in the future because conventional methods of communication become inefficient as a spaceship moves further away from the earth.
Up until the SpaceChain grant, the ESA mainly focused on blockchain projects that help streamline its administrative processes. Back in 2017, the ESA released a paper detailing how blockchain technology could tremendously benefit Europe. The article titled Distributed Ledger Technology: Leveraging Blockchain for ESA’s Success cited blockchain utility in the areas of facilitating the development of better and more secure financial systems, enhanced logistics via smart contracts and a more efficient voting system. The ESA believes that the decentralization of blockchain technology could help bring about what it calls space 4.0; “a situation in which there is an increased number of diverse space actors around the world.”