To infinity and much further: One could almost think that the earth’s atmosphere is a natural limit for the spread of blockchain technology. A Bitcoin transaction recently demonstrated that this is not necessarily the case. The International Space Station (ISS) was involved in it. Tech company SpaceChain announced a pioneering achievement on August 18th. The company conducted the world’s first multi-signature blockchain transaction in space through it. According to a press release, the company’s British arm was shipping just under 0.01 BTC (about $ 120) to two earthly Bitcoin addresses. Hardware that is placed on the International Space Station (ISS) was used. A ground station transmitted the transaction data to the ISS, on which the associated private keys were located. The European Space Agency (ESA) supports the project. The hardware used comes from the small satellite manufacturer GomSpace.
SpaceChain is part of the “new space economy”
The self-declared goal of SpaceChain is to create a network of satellites that can be used as extraterrestrial network nodes for blockchains. To this end, the company sent a test stand for blockchain-based multi-signature authentication to the ISS in December 2019. Jeff Garzik, CTO of the company, also put the recent Bitcoin transaction in the context of this endeavor:
“Executing the multi-signature transaction in space embodies our ongoing efforts to build a secure and immutable, open-source, blockchain-based satellite network. SpaceChain wants to be the provider of complete solutions for the integration of blockchain and space.”