Exploring blockchain and satellite connectivity use cases
SpaceChain recently hosted a workshop “Realising the Opportunities of Blockchain Technology for the Space Sector” at Satellite Applications Catapult (SAC), in Oxfordshire, UK. During the event, attendees from institutions like the European Space Agency and UK National Healthcare Services had to brainstorm use cases involving blockchain and satellite connectivity. Here are the most interesting ideas from the exercise:
Food production and logistics currently face a number of challenges like ensuring food quality and avoiding spoilage. Food loss and waste accounts for about 4.4 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.
Ensuring fair labor practices are a serious concern for the individuals that grow our food. One-third of the economically active population obtains its livelihood from agriculture. Additionally, most food travels from great distances to arrive on our plates – 11% of carbon emissions from food production comes from shipping. Thus, ensuring a short distance and low carbon emissions for food travel is a primary concern.
The stakeholders in food production, namely growers, shippers, insurers, NGOs, and finally you and I have, a deep investment in solving these food production problems.
With satellite connectivity, food producers could remotely control IOT devices like farm equipment and access live market data. With blockchain, they could track and ensure supply chain integrity and move the entire food pricing market to a tokenized blockchain solution.
“At SCISYS, we see blockchain as a disruptive technology that could play a key role in democratizing the future global economy and enabling new applications. SpaceChain is leading the charge for blockchain technology adoption in space helping all different actors within the inherently global space ecosystem work together towards that goal,” said Antonio Rodenas, SCISYS Business Development Manager – Space UK
One of the challenges the healthcare industry faces is credentialing and identity integrity. This process can take 90-120 days for doctors to be able to provide care at new facilities. While this ensures that the doctor treating you is certified, the method is slow and makes for a less robust healthcare system.
Another problem is the lack of data portability. There is a need for patients to have access to and control of their data to ensure security and accurate information across healthcare providers. As such, it is essential to have decentralization of care and global access to services.
One way to resolve these issues is to have some form of federated distributed ledger technology or blockchain technology.
“At NHS England, the delivery of services is very decentralized. It’s a very distributed, decentralized delivery model. And that includes the funding, staffing, the bricks and mortar, so we have been focused on how to bring digital transformation to that model. One of the opportunities is distributed ledger technology (DLT) as one of the tools in our toolbox,” said Phil Stradling, Lead Architect at the National Health Service (NHS) of England.
In a world increasingly beset by fabricated information and evidence, we are in need of verifiable authenticity for the information we trust. One application that blockchain could help with is timestamping or hash-stamping data into satellite imagery to ensure it reflects what the satellite sensor actually recorded.
Imagine you are a nation that wants to feed disinformation a troop movement between two adversarial nations by showing fabricated troop movement between the two. In a world dependent on hash-stamping the images would need to be verifiable to information in the blockchain to be believed. A company called VeriBlock is providing a similar service by certification via the Bitcoin blockchain.
We are very excited by the interest and creativity by all the attendees around satellite connectivity and blockchain technology. As we expand to the UK, we look forward to working with our new collaborators on creating more use cases involving SpaceChain’s satellite infrastructure and blockchain technology.