SINGAPORE, Feb. 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- On Feb 2, 2018, SpaceChain launched its first blockchain node into orbit. The satellite was carried by CZ-2D rocket at 3:51 pm local time from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi desert, China. It was equipped with a Raspberry Pi hardware development board that runs a full-node program on the Qtum blockchain.
This launch could go down in history as the beginning of a new era in privately funded space exploration. There is no doubt that SpaceChain is entering an area that has been nearly inaccessible for most organizations, and there is no telling where this decentralized, open source space program could lead.
"This is the first time in human history that we are combining space and blockchain together. At Qtum, our goal is to empower the blockchain community to accelerate the development of SpaceChain, a private space agency, for the public good," said Patrick Dai, co-founder of Qtum and one SpaceChain's partners.
The Blockchain Goes Into Orbit
For a relatively young technology, blockchain has seen a tremendous amount of dedicated infrastructure built for it over the last few years.
With the successful launch of its first satellite, SpaceChain is breaking into an exclusive marketplace. Up to this point, private space projects were limited to the super rich. But by using an architecture that is based on QTUM Blockchain technology, SpaceChain has opened up the world of orbital communications to developers everywhere.
The idea is simple.
SpaceChain has developed an open-source platform that will allow independent developers all over the world to design apps that take advantage of all the capabilities that an orbital communications platform can create.
"The launch is a momentous step forward towards the creating of an open-source problem solving model that optimizes collective intelligence. We aim to revolutionize the space industry by enabling better utilization of space, accelerating discovery and enhancing access to new technologies across the industry," said Zheng Zuo, founder of SpaceChain.
SpaceChain plans to launch two more satellites this year and expand their data moving capacity as more developers embrace their platform and gain access to satellite communication technology.
The past year has seen numerous companies enter the 'blockchain' space, but few offer quality innovation that has real commercial viability. SpaceChain is exceptional in this regard, visionary investors have supported Zuo in his quest to create a new form of open source orbital communication.
Venture capitalist Tim Draper is known for making great investments in cutting edge technology. After mentoring Zuo at Draper University in 2016, the idea that would become SpaceChain was born.
It is worth remembering that one of the largest users of current blockchain-based cryptocurrency are people who live in nations that aren't well supported internationally and need to find a convenient way to achieve trade settlement.
While many people in South Korea and Japan speculate in cryptos, people in places like Venezuela and Zimbabwe are using them as cash, and circumventing established systems that prevent the free flow of goods and ideas.
Land-based blockchain nodes allow for an incredible amount of data transfer and raw computational ability. But, when it comes to allowing communication with distant places that aren't connected by existing telecom networks, satellites are the only option.
"SpaceChain will create a new ecosystem that connects millions of businesses, developers and consumers with easy-to-access aerospace and blockchain technology," said Draper.
Given the demand for decentralised forms of information sharing and trade settlement, he may be right.
Power In Numbers
One of the most important aspects that blockchain-based systems offer the world is their ability to help people from different cultures and geographic regions pool resources, and share risks as they work towards common goals.
The SpaceChain token is, in essence, an investment in the world's first decentralised space agency, which is working to make space-based technology accessible to anyone on earth.
While their first program will focus on the decentralization of orbital communications, Zuo sees bigger projects for SpaceChain on the horizon.
"SpaceChain's foray into space will successfully create a decentralized environment that facilitates advancements and collaborations at a fraction of the cost typically associated with the industry," said Draper.
This could mean that over the next few years SpaceChain will sit at the nexus point where decentralized, non-governmental space development meets the commercial interests of a world where data is acknowledged as the new currency.
There is nothing to stop them from growing as quickly as the market adopts their revolutionary approach to providing transparent communication, and with the goal of eventual space exploration, SpaceChain occupies a very unique position in the blockchain universe.