Digital currency, blockchain, and decentralized data are all buzzwords that we have seen floating around in recent times, but the technology is so latest that it is difficult to see direct applications to our lives even in the exploration of space. But what is the future of blockchain in space? This article will help you to find the answer to this question.
What these ideas define are varied ways to store data, a way that is decentralized, secure, and transparent. Within this form of system, users have copies of data, and as data in a blockchain is kept with cryptographic algorithms, it is difficult to hack the blockchain. And this technology is now being used in various industries, and soon it may be implemented in the space industry as well.
In 2022, the world is surely undergoing a renaissance of space exploration. The turnover of the space economy across the globe has increased from $216.6 billion in 2009 to $423.8 billion in 2019. The number of nations that work with at least one satellite on the orbit of the Earth has increased more than twice since 2000 to reach over 80 countries.
Just more than 630 years since the first ever launch along with a license from the United States Office Of Commercial Space Transportation, private companies like Blue Origin and SpaceX are working with huge satellite networks and creating spacecraft that are anticipated to return people to the moon and then deliver them to Mars.
Blockchain In Space: The Birth Of Space Economy
The evolution of both affordability and scale of space exploration is formulating a whole new sector which is the Space Economy as the United Nations Officer for Outer Space Affairs already terms it. An inevitable question then comes to mind: what money will the players within the space economy use?
It is certainly not going to be dollars if George Pullen, the chief economist at the MilkyWayEconomy is being asked. In fact some experts in the cryptocurrency industry state that crypto and blockchain in space can be of great help for the space economy as they will be mutually advantageous for both the fields. These include the former core developer of Bitcoin and co-founder of space-as-a-service company SpaceChain that is powered by blockchain Jeff Garzik and CEO of blockchain technology firm Blockstream Adam Back which provides blockchain satellite.
Blockchain In Space: How It Helps The Space Industry?
In spite of all the advances, space exploration often stays an expensive business both in science and money capital. Because of its expensive nature, any big project in space needs the support of various private corporations, each offering talent, and resources. And the most ambitious programs are associations between governments.
This is where one of the key benefits of blockchain comes in: it allows the exchange of price and data between independent parties in a way that does not associate trust. With peer-to-peer transaction settlement, smart contracts, and the accountability and transparency allowed by public blockchain records, the players of a space project could prepare agreements without the risk of breach of contract, saving both time and money.
Another dimension where blockchain in space could be of help is the financing of space startups. Innovative crowdfunding procedures like ICOs (initial coin offerings) and IEOs (initial exchange offerings) could serve as a communicator between the entities in the space industry and retail investors, enabling the former to tap into the latters’ huge resource pool and the latter to unlock latest investment chances on the present frontier of human progress.
The tokenization of real-world assets through NFTs (non-fungible tokens) could pave the way for wholesale or, more crucially in the context of retail investing, fractional ownership of space assets such as satellites and even asteroids. Manufacturing supply chain management that is based on blockchain, which is already in huge development and use by such tech giants as Lockheed Martin and Amazon, could be used in the production chains of space sector items in order to develop the visibility and traceability of supply chains.
These are just a few of the present and future use cases for blockchain and digital currencies in space. Blockchain and crypto, in return, could also take advantage of the advantages offered by the space industry.
How Is Space Helping The Blockchain?
For instance, the already stated Blockstream, which has been headed by Adam Back, has offered the platform for the first-ever Bitcoin (BTC) transaction in space, which occurred precisely five years ago, on August 21, 2017.
Blockstream Satellite is primarily a network of six satellites in geosynchronous orbit implying that each of them is always orbiting above a specified geographical area on Earth that is continuously broadcasting the blockchain of Bitcoin across the globe.
After investing in a base station that is priced at just under $500, anyone can get the blockchain data of Bitcoin anywhere across the globe, at any time, for free. By virtue of being situated in space and out of reach of earthbound scenarios, these satellites assure that Bitcoin stays free from such vulnerabilities as natural disasters or government censorship whose outcome can be internet outages, basically, the ultimate ideal of decentralized money, allowed by the cooperation in blockchain in space tech.
The space-as-a-service blockchain firm SpaceChain took this idea one step further. In June 2021, it released a payload that was enabled by Ethereum that was later installed at the ISS (International Space Station).
The blockchain of Ethereum supports decentralized applications (DApps) and smart contracts enabling private entities and individuals across the globe to launch items with use cases beyond monetary. Among instances offered by SpaceChain itself are asset custody, data security, and e-commerce management all of which will be taking benefit of decentralization and censorship resistance that arrives with being based in space.
As a breakthrough technology, blockchain inspires various tech innovators to compare it to the internet and the industrial revolution. Why and what does it imply to the space industry? The above article speaks about the various avenues of blockchain in space and how both can help each other. There are blockchain space tokens that speak more about this possibility. The various important features of blockchain are making this an inevitable technology that will gradually receive mass adoption in all sectors.