SpaceChain AMA – Dec 7, 2019

SpaceChain AMA – Dec 7, 2019

On Dec 7, the community came together on SpaceChain’s telegram channel to ask CEO Zee Zheng, CTO Jeff Garzik and Director of Operations Alessandra Albano questions. We have compiled the AMA here from our SpaceChain English Community Telegram Group. Thank you for your participation.


  1. When will the payload become functional?

Jeff: It has to make it to the Space station first! Early Sunday morning, US-Eastern time. Afternoon in Asia. Then after the payload makes it to the space station, it needs to be unpacked.

Zee: On Sunday Dec 8, it will be docked to the International Space Station (ISS). And in the next couple of weeks, an astronaut in ISS will help us install it on the ISS. Once the installation is completed, we will begin the official testing


  1. What testing will be done?

Zee: Once activated, the payload will demonstrate the receipt, authorisation, and retransmission of blockchain transactions, creating multisig transactions which require multiple signatures (approvals) to complete, increasing the security of the operation. All data will be both uplinked and downlinked directly through Nanoracks’ commercial platform. SpaceChain’s implementation adds the remoteness and security of space infrastructure to blockchain technology to lay the foundation for a new generation of products built on its technology. Read the tech summary here.

We will release more details about the testing once we have the data.


  1. How will you know that it’s working fine?

Zee: In terms of our software, we have done many stimulations and we have passed NASA’s code review. We are quite confident with our work, but we will only know if it’s actually working well once the installation is completed.


  1. How does the team expect to gain more attention when they have ~ 49% of the token supply?

Jeff: By building and launching products and services to space.

Alessandra: We just launched on the International Space Station. We are working on getting the infrastructure up there in space.


  1. What you’re trying to accomplish seems necessary and doable but to be honest the token economics are not in favour of this project.

Zee: We recognize that in space industry it is difficult for implementation of the token, however, we have a plan. We are putting major efforts on educating the industry about blockchain technology, and we have received great results!

It is a long process, but I believe we are definitely making great progress!

We were awarded the first blockchain related grant from the European Space Agency and we just launched to ISS with Space X.


  1. What are the potential issues that may arise?

Jeff: We will be looking to test several aspects of the payload application:

Security – authenticating those who are permitted to access their keys in the wallet, and rejecting others without security.

Telecommunications – making sure each link in the chain is secure and can communicate up and down in the expected way, according to our tests.

Spoofing  – securing the system against false keys and identities.

Each link in the chain must be tested, in addition to end-to-end tests.


  1. How many people were involved with this launch? Which business partners?

Alessandra: Launching is definitely a complex operation and there were a number of partners involved. Big thanks to Nanoracks our launch service providers.

It was awesome to be working so closely with them, as well as all the team members that helped us passed the code reviews with NASA. We look forward to the next stage once it’s docked on ISS.


  1. If SPC can’t rise to a higher price, and the money from private placement in the early stage is used up, how will the later projects proceed.

Alessandra: We are working hard to establish partnerships and do business development so that we can be commercially active asap. We are very grateful for the funding received so far and being super strategic about how we operate to ensure max impact.


  1. Do you plan to take the approach of integrating into current satellite systems (partnering with satellite distributors and installing your hardware/software?) seems like producing your own satellites would be too lengthy and costly? I don’t have much knowledge regarding satellite costs, that is why I ask.

Zee: Yes, for sure, we never aim to build every satellite ourselves. We see ourselves as integrator of blockchain and space technology. We have over 30  satellite and blockchain partners who have signed MoUs with us to test our technology.

Jeff: SpaceChain will continue to be active on the business development front in 2020. We make sure to post regular updates to the community on both the technical and business.


  1. Though we understand that communication of TV and phones can happen over satellites, aren’t they mostly GEO satellites for such purpose? As far as the SpaceChain whitepaper is concerned I understand that SpaceChain wants to just have a node in space and is just a part of the payload in the satellite launched externally. So how exactly is this related to SpaceChain? Can you please explain? Is there a monetisation model in place?

Alessandra: SpaceChain will focus on building decentralised infrastructure in space and help build the New Space Economy. We will help companies enter the market by providing services to support space applications.


  1. What was the process of review and why did NASA review the code?

Zee: Because we are going to be installed on ISS which is a 150-Billion-dollar property in space. It is necessary for them to check our code is solid and are doing exactly what we proposed to do.


  1. Is the European Space Agency (ESA) looking to fund and support this project further? What is the incentive for them and why they are interested?

Jeff: SpaceChain has some concrete business models around the decentralised satellite network that we have described and will continue to research and ultimately build-out.

There are multiple blockchain use cases related to registering users, satellites, and other spacecraft with this network. Joining, authenticating, and transacting space services all involve blockchain smart contracts and cryptocurrencies.

Zee: I cannot share too much detail yet, but we are pleased to announce that we have passed the midterm review for the on-going project. Working with ESA has been a great experience and will continue to collaborate with them.


  1. How exactly will adoption of decentralised infrastructure happen? What’s so attractive that the shift from centralized entities to decentralized entities happen? And when you mean providing infrastructure can you be more specific about it? Also explain what will SpaceChain help with building “New Space Economy”?

Alessandra: Decentralisation will enable new models of governance, which will make companies join in that couldn’t before. It will boost a new economy, get new companies to build products and services, and support international cooperation where it was not possible before.


  1. Since I am a software developer, I am interested in contributing to SpaceChain OS, but I found out that there is not much activity on the GitHub. Is development still active there?

Zee: Due to the sensitivity of our development and request from partners, very often we cannot do open development like many other blockchain projects. We are dealing with launch service providers which are very conservative about sharing the code before we launched. For the ISS mission we expect to open source the code after we finish testing around Q1 2020.

Once open sourced, developers can begin to engage on GitHub. 🙂


  1. What is the use of the SPC tokens?

Zee: In terms of utility, the token can power and help regulate how parties join and leave the decentralised constellation.


  1. You mention building the New Space Economy, what does that mean?

Alessandra: The space industry is at a pivotal stage. Commercialisation means that new product, services, companies and people will join the industry and bring innovation to the sector. We can see many more applications being built and we want to lower barriers to entry in order to facilitate that.

Space is becoming more accessible, though we are not there yet. We need to work together to make it happen


  1. What did SpaceChain achieve by integrating with ETH and QTUM other than making it easier for wallet integration on exchanges? Can you please elaborate more on this? And the technical advantages we have by doing this?

Zee: We want to create more possibilities for the development community. ETH is apparently one of the most mature blockchain communities out there and making sure they have access to our platform is a huge deal. At the same time, as an integrator, we are constantly looking for other interesting blockchains to integrate as well.

If you have any recommendation or contact, please do not hesitate to let us know.

Jeff: QTUM platform is a merge of BTC and ETH technology. This first step was a successful test of the in-space infrastructure.

ETH is a larger platform, and it is important to be on ETH because of popularity: Other DeFi, DEX and registry contracts are on ETH.

We need to be where the users are.


  1. Recommendation please on books to help me understand more about blockchain and space

Alessandra: There are also a number of online courses on Coursera etc. that are quite good. As for books, the ones from O’Reilly are a good place to start. There is one from Melanie Swan that is quite good, Blockchain Blueprint for a new Economy

Otherwise, more on the technical side, there is Mastering Blockchain by Imran Bashir.

If you want more on the business related, there’s Blockchain Revolution by Don and Alex Tapscott. Quite a foundational book.


* Note: This compilation of AMA questions & answers have been carefully revised to improve the grammar and readability.


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