SpaceChain AMA – Jan 24, 2019

On Jan 24, the community came together to ask SpaceChain co-founders Jeff Garzik and Zee Zheng questions. We have compiled the AMA here from our SpaceChain English Community Telegram Group (https://t.me/SpaceChainOfficial_EN). Thank you for your participation.

1. Is there any partnership in the works?

Jeff Garzik:  Yes, both commercial partnerships and partnerships with the UK and European space agencies.

2.When will SpaceChain be recruiting developers, and when will you start storing these functions?

 Zee Zheng: I am currently in Singapore and talking to many research/engineering teams at the universities and labs. We will let the community know once it is confirmed.

 3. Can we get some picture of the nodes, and how many nodes will there be in total?

 Zee Zheng: There are some pictures of the node that we cannot share because during testing, we used some classified equipment that we do not own and will not receive permission to publicize the pictures. However, you’ll find some of the key info about the testing here.

Jeff Garzik: The goal is to have at least 72 nodes in a constellation. This will only be possible if our decentralized satellite constellation is a success, and we have a network with many companies, governments, and educational institutions launching nodes with us.  The internet was not built by just one company. This is why our approach is superior to SpaceX or OneWeb. We want to build protocols and specifications that allow anyone to join our network, then the satellite network and constellation becomes a global cooperation.

4. What exactly does bloq.com do?

 Jeff Garzik: We provide blockchain services to large enterprises.

5. Will those enterprises be on SpaceChain?

Jeff Garzik: Some yes, some no. Sometimes it is difficult to convince a legacy 100-year-old bank about the value of space. SpaceChain believes space is Enterprise ready.

6. What do you think of the outlook for the crypto market?

 Jeff Garzik: Very positive in year 2019. We feel that many projects will release what they have been building in 2018.

 Zee Zheng: I agree. Projects that started late 2017-early 2018 are about to deliver their products. Many will be interesting.

7. Is there anyone building on SpaceChain? If I want something on the node, how do I go about it, and is there a price I have to pay or a process? How will the token be used and what will it be use for?

 Zee Zheng: This is the initial document about the wallet design. It is currently only in Chinese, but we are working on publishing an English version.

Jeff Garzik: While the network is in a test phase, you would need to directly interact with SpaceChain project members. This year, SpaceChain is releasing a software developer API and SDK that will enable anyone in the world to build projects on SpaceChain OS and make them space ready for our satellites. It is important to build simulators that students and start-ups can run on Earth.

 Zee Zheng: If you have ideas or recommendations, send an email to info@spacechain.com.

Is SpaceChain Foundation fully funded yet? Do you have any financial problems with development and operation?

 Zee Zheng: We are in good standing. However, as a space project, you can never be “fully funded.”

9. Eric C. Anderson is into space and the founder with Planetary Resources. Will there be something there?

Zee Zheng: Jeff and I have had an extensive conversation with Eric Anderson in Seattle. He actually has been looking at cryptos and blockchain for years.

How much does it cost to launch a node and to build the node?

Jeff Garzik: The major cost components are:

  • Spacecraft, which uses many off-the-shelf parts.
  • Spacecraft software.
  • Launch payload services.

Software and launch are the two most expensive components. Spacecraft is under $200,000. Software developers are very expensive — more than $100,000 per year. SpaceX costs $3000/kg to launch a full rocket. Of course, we do not fill a rocket, but we go through a rideshare broker. This increases the launch cost, but we cannot disclose the exact cost. Launch costs are often the most expensive part, but software developers compete with that.

Zee Zheng: Agreed. Inter-sat links are a big part we are working on. It really varies. We also have NDAs with our partners, so we are not allowed to share the pricings we are getting. It’s standard business practices.

What are you plans for 2019?

Zee Zheng: 2019 is an important year for us. We are going to publish our year-in-review soon, and it will also include projects that we are working on.

You mentioned about integrating with other chains. What chain do you guys plan on integrating with and how many?

Zee Zheng: Yes. We are integrating with other chains. We finished Qtum integration and are working on ETH integration. We have not decided which one is next. Happy to take advice from the community.

13. What is the reason for integrating with other chains?

Zee Zheng: We believe our strength is on “space + blockchain” so it does not make much sense that we do a completely new chain while all other projects are doing amazing work. Our vision is to integrate with other chains, so we can get solid open-source technology and more interactions with various developer community.

 14Can you talk about the partnership with Nexus? How will you guys work together?

Jeff Garzik: Sharing satellite engineers and jointly developing protocols and sharing specifications for satellites. It is in the best interest of all blockchain space projects to work together on a common specification.

15. What are the differences between blockchain on Earth and space? Can we just use blockchain on Earth which is much cheaper and stable?

Jeff Garzik: For some on Earth in developed nations, yes, it is cheaper. We wish to develop the platform that will reach all humanity and lower costs for everyone, even in developing nations. But it will take time.

16. You mean that people can access to the blockchain not going through the internet? What about the performance? Internet cables are way faster than communicating through satellite.

Zee Zheng: For places that are not covered by a terrestrial network, our network is a solid option. Also, something we have been working on is a cold wallet that can make daily blockchain transactions. What makes the wallet “cold” is that it does not interact with the internet. Instead, it only interacts with our satellite payloads, removing a significant hacking attack vector.

17. What is the role of SpaceChain in the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance?

Jeff Garzik: This is a declaration of support for Ethereum in addition to Qtum. SpaceChain supports many blockchains with our technology. We can choose to deploy any blockchain on our space satellite platform.

18. For the first transaction, how long did it take or was it instant?

Zee Zheng: It worked out great. It was not instant because the latency of satellite communication.

19. How can this be improved?

Zee Zheng: That’s the nature of satellite communication. To improve it, we can get more ground station support etc.

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