SpaceChain, Blockstream and Cryptosat – Cointelegraph Magazine

In the “Cryptographic Anarchist Manifesto” of 1988, Timothy C. May, engineer, writer, and cypherpunk Expected A social and economic revolution driven by technological developments such as high-speed networks, personal computers, and satellites. Today, former Bitcoin Core developer Jeff Garzik (now working with SpaceChain) and others are turning this vision into reality. Private encryption companies including SpaceChain, Blockstream, Cryptosat, etc. are rapidly putting satellites into orbit to provide blockchain verification, multi-signature wallets, and verifiable space delay functions.

As the cryptocurrency market continues its overall lunar orbit, the risk of blockchain protocols is getting higher and higher.Blockchain must not only maintain its security in a technical sense, but also need to be able to Withstand regulatory setbacks as well as. If the government poses a potential threat to the vision of an unstoppable decentralized network on Earth, then putting blockchain validator nodes in space is a kind of “backup.”

Garzik, the co-founder and chief technology officer of SpaceChain, believes that placing nodes in a space that is inaccessible to humans “can help solve the security and vulnerabilities faced by centralized land-based servers on the planet, and provide new peace orders for others. Exciting opportunities. Commercial use cases.”

This means that even if the node fails, is threatened, or shuts down — or even if the Internet is shut down in some way — a verifiable copy of the blockchain will continue to exist in space, increasing the technology’s “immutability” and censorship resistance Properties. Now, “Space is for everyone,” Garzik said.

More and more companies are looking for cheaper ways to provide blockchain-oriented “space as a service”.Nominally, a company headquartered in San Francisco Hidden satellite The co-founders told the magazine that they are “interested in using the characteristics of space to benefit the blockchain.” They are using prefabricated components to launch miniature, coffee cup-sized “cube satellites” and simple ground infrastructure deployed on enterprise cloud network providers for end-to-end systems where anyone can assemble, launch, and Nodes in the space to communicate with satellites that provide blockchain.

Space infrastructure provides new possibilities for composable and decentralized infrastructure. SpaceChain and Cryptosat are working on a series of use cases other than nodes, including random beacons and “verifiable delay functions” (VDF). Random beacons provide a credible source of entropy and are a basic component that produces unpredictable results.

For example, in cryptography, the initial trusted setting of a key pair requires a source of randomness. VDF executes functions after a certain period of time, which is used for transactions or smart contract functions. For satellites, these cryptographically signed timestamps can be determined by orbiting the earth and transmitted from space. “It’s basically like a trusted space clock,” Gil Shotan, the co-founder of Cryptosat, told the magazine. They interact with the software interfaces of corporate customers, such as digital asset management company Nexus Inc. and cryptocurrency exchange Biteeu, to achieve secure on-track multi-signature transactions.

Although SpaceChain and Cryptosat are space service integrators that have nothing to do with blockchain, Blockstream was co-founded by Adam Back, one of the first cryptopunks and the pioneer of proof of work mentioned in the Bitcoin white paper “Hashcash “Inventor of “- Specially focused on using space to expand the functionality of the Bitcoin network.

The Blockstream satellite network broadcasts the Bitcoin blockchain 24/7 around the world, providing continuous access to the Bitcoin network to mitigate the threat of network outages or IP traceability. Anyone can purchase a small satellite dish and USB receiver to view these blocks to ensure that their nodes are synchronized.

How did you “go to space”?

Getting your node into space is not as difficult as people think.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, abbreviated as NASA, reserves space for the commercial launch of each mission. Based on proposals emphasizing blockchain security use cases, SpaceChain, established in 2017, is the first blockchain company launched in cooperation with NASA.

With the goal of providing “open and neutral” space infrastructure, SpaceChain Launched the first payload (Cargo) Carry a node to the International Space Station in 2019. Its fourth node, an Ethereum validator, was launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in 2021. This makes the immutable record of blockchain transactions not only global but universal, to promote the function of spatially decentralized applications.

Although one might think that the International Space Station or satellites are targets for anyone who really doesn’t like blockchain, SpaceChain believes the opposite.

“As long as it is not killed, it will rebound,” said Zee Zheng, SpaceChain’s co-founder and CEO. Space infrastructure provides enhanced security features because it is subject to free and continuous monitoring by every space agency in the stratosphere. Although this still does not solve the difficult trust problem in the hardware support chain, once it is released, once it is tampered with, everyone will know. In fact, the government is very interested in supporting the space blockchain.

Who pays in space?

Putting blockchain into space is usually positioned as a decentralized ideological pursuit, away from untrusted intermediaries. However, space infrastructure is a highly sought after service, usually publicly funded and privately provided. The business case for space is very compelling.

SpaceChain received approximately US$60,000 from the European Space Agency for its first payload, and recently it received £440,000 (US$605,000) from the Singapore Enterprise Development Agency and Innovate UK for the development of “decentralized satellite infrastructure” (DSI), this is a real-time satellite network operated by blockchain.

For people like Garzik of SpaceChain, “space has nothing to do with the dollar” because decentralized currencies exceed the demand for terrestrial currencies. For other companies such as Cryptosat and Loft Orbital, money is a factor. Loft Orbital ships payloads for the company, including the most recent SpaceChain Ethereum node, and raised $13 million in its 2019 A round of financing. “There is still money to make on the planet,” said Yonatan Winetraub, the co-founder of Cryptosat magazine.

Governance and politics in space

Space governance can develop in several directions. Space is known as the arena of geopolitical competition, enhanced by the entanglement of interests between the state and private actors.

SpaceChain’s low earth orbit satellite network, called “constellation”, is operated by multiple parties in multiple jurisdictions. It will provide a collaboration model in which the infrastructure is non-territorial and accessible to commercial and government users. Although SpaceChain hopes that its infrastructure can mediate the collaboration model between many countries and commercial entities, attempts to build a flexible and decentralized network will also create new loopholes.

Commercial interests mixed with competitors may lead to new competition, including Elon Musk’s plan Put “Word Dogecoin on the text moon”. In June, Musk declared “The new space race has begun!” Via Twitter, in response to the cryptocurrency exchange Bitmex, which vowed to beat Dogecoin to the moon with Bitcoin.

Gazik thank Musk and SpaceX pointed out on Twitter that SpaceChain “has brought your rocket to space” and added that SpaceChain “is an integrator and is happy to accept BTC ETH SPC and now DOGE” for customer space missions.

Maybe the next decentralized autonomous organization or DAO will be in outer space?

Some people believe that the future may involve multi-species populations of multi-planetary systems and multiple digital currencies. Whether it is the function of the blockchain to enhance space or the space to enhance the blockchain on earth, “space is closer to us than you think,” Winetraub told the magazine.

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