All you need to know about SpaceChain in 4 minutes
The tech world has been buzzing with the hype of cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, and the underlying technology that it is based on — blockchain. Enthusiasts and businesses alike have been trying to apply blockchain technology to invent solutions to better the world. SpaceChain has taken it a step further with a unique value proposition that is quite literally out of this world.
The brainchild of Zee Zheng, SpaceChain was founded in 2017 with an aim to bring blockchain technology to outer space. How? By building the world’s first open-source satellite network that runs on blockchain nodes.
What’s more, SpaceChain has some of smartest minds in the industry backing it up such as Jeff Garzik, former Bitcoin core developer and CEO of Bloq, as well as Tim Draper, renowned venture capitalist who has invested in SpaceX, Tesla, and Thumbtack.
By setting up an open, decentralized yet highly secure network in space, SpaceChain hopes to accelerate the development of the space industry by giving more people access to it.
Some claim that “with nationalization comes inefficiency”. This is especially true in the space industry where space agencies are almost always state-run.
Private businesses often struggle to effectively utilize existing infrastructure and access useful information because space technology is traditionally closed off and highly guarded behind government doors. This makes it impossible for space-based applications and software to be built on low budgets and raises the barriers to entry for most private businesses. It also slows down the progress of space exploration and discovery.
SpaceChain believes that blockchain technology can help solve these issues with its key defining feature — decentralisation.
By making use of blockchain’s inherent collaborative nature, SpaceChain wants to level the playing field for more parties to enter the space industry. SpaceChain’s smart contracts through its decentralised platform also enable specialised personnel to engage with each other in a more inclusive set up. In addition, the government’s role in facilitating the sharing of information, resources and ideas is greatly diminished, thus drastically reducing transaction costs and time.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
SpaceChain launched its first Low Earth Orbit (LEO) node into space on Feb 2, 2018, and followed up with a second node on Oct 25, 2018. Nodes are used for blockchain data processing, transmission, in-space data storage and application development. SpaceChain also integrates with Qtum to provide the basic service API for smart contracts and blockchain applications.
Built upon that, SpaceChain’s open-source operating system (SpaceChain OS) provides the main blockchain application sandbox for developers to utilise for rapid and secure development, testing and deployment of space-based applications — similar to a mobile app development platform.
Companies that wish to develop their own space-based applications will no longer need to launch their own satellite. They can tap on SpaceChain’s satellite network instead. This maximises investment and resources by making space-app development more cost-efficient.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR SPACECHAIN?
SpaceChain also joined the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), the world’s largest open-source blockchain initiative with over 250 member companies. It is an industry-supported, not-for-profit established to build, promote, and broadly support Ethereum-based technology best practices. SpaceChain and the EEA share the same values and goals of establishing open-source frameworks that will open up access to and the enabling of the mass adoption of scalable technology.
SpaceChain aims to get the blockchain community more involved by establishing a community incentive model using tokens. The tokens will act like tickets that need to be bought to upload and execute space-based apps, and store data onto the SpaceChain network.
This incentivizes and encourages more talent to embrace and contribute to the SpaceChain ecosystem.
SpaceChain will also be providing funding and support for start-ups in the space industry in terms of technology, resources and human capital.
SpaceChain’s vision has always been that of open access and collaboration to create an entire ecosystem that would connect millions of businesses, developers and consumers, as well as open up whole new businesses and socio-economic models that seemed impossible before.
To quote its co-founder and Chief Technological Officer, Jeff Garzik: “We will be able to execute missions that fit with blockchain philosophy, and our philosophy revolves around openness, transparency and collective collaboration.”