Cryptocurrency, blockchain and NASA
Cryptocurrency and its blockchain technology has been around for a couple years now but it has just recently been thrust into the mainstream spotlight, and now, it’s headed for space.
Blockchain and NASA
In late 2017, NASA awarded a three-year grant, worth $330,000, to Dr. Jin Wei Kocsis of the Universtiy of Akron to test and implement blockchain technology and its potential to improve space communications.
Kocsis, speaking with WOSU, an NPR-Affiliate radio station based in Ohio, said the rigors of deep space poses a problem for space communications and computer systems as they have to work under low power and make decisions using limited data and delays in transmission.
Using blockchain would aid in that regard, “because we have to have a secure and effective structure to support this kind of high-level and decentralized machine learning.”
The Etherum blockchain technology will link with the deep space network, the largest and most sensitive scientific telecommunications system in the world.
A synopsis of the research states that the project will use blockchain and deep learning techniques to design a secure and decentralized computing and data analysis infrastructure. One of the main goals will be to employ the technology for processing the vasts amount that needs to be processed with data exploration and other related science.
The chart below, from NASA, gives an overview of how it plans for using the cryptocurrency technology.
Blockchain in space
Using blockchain technology in outer space isn’t tied to NASA only. SpaceChain is a company pushing a space exploration initiative which will help humans engage in outer space activities. The company is actively constructing the world’s first open-source satellite network which will enable a next-generation infrastructure aimed at blockchain technology.
In February, it successfully launched its first blockchain node into orbit.
The SpaceChain launch, after years of hard work, was made possible by using Qtum blockchain technology, which has opened the world of orbital communications to developers everywhere.
The goal is to have an open-source platform that will give independent developers around the world the freedom to develop apps that make use of all the capabilities that an orbital communication platform can create.
Cryptocurrency and space travel
As space travel gets closer to becoming a reality, private companies such as Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, and Blue Origin are considering plans to use cryptocurrency, and specifically Bitcoin, as a payment currency to allow consumers to pay for the space tours.
Virgin Galactic bills itself as the first commercial spaceline and plans to use SpaceShip II, a space vehicle designed for space tourism.
According to Sean Patterson, PR Manager of Worldcore, “Bitcoin holders can get a chance to join the future passengers of SpaceShip II and the price of a roundtrip is approximately 340 BTC.”
What the future holds for cryptocurrency and its blockchain technology is yet to be determined but one thing is sure, these companies are planning for its longevity and making use of the technology.