Blockchain

Cryptocurrency In Space!

When the news is bitcoin, usually, it is a little off the beaten path, but even by the normally inclusive standards of blockchain reporting, the latest news out of a cyrptocurrency promoter is a little odd. Apparently, the blockchain is no longer content to have gone global; it is making like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos and going intergalactic.

One satellite at a time.

The SolarCoin Foundation — a “global rewards” platform — pays those who generate solar power with blockchain currency for each megawatt-hour of electricity they generate. Reports indicate that, as a security measure against hacking, the firm has acquired data storage capacity on the satellite centers of SpaceBelt.

SpaceBelt is the brainchild of rather literally minded satellite startup Cloud Constellation. The satellite is a planned orbital data communication, processing and storage service farm. SpaceBelt is designed to consist of a network of satellites linked by laser communications, providing a 10-gigabit dedicated orbital network backbone.

SpaceBelt is advertised as also including a “unique blockchain technology” that will, in some as-yet-not-totally-understood way, make blockchain wallets safer. Presumably, being in space has something to do with it.

“SolarCoin will be able to provide its customers with an inviolable record of their transactions, and parties can be recorded and viewed via the internet,” a Cloud Constellation spokesperson said in the company’s statement on the deal. “[SolarCoin Foundation] will purchase space on the SpaceBelt network to securely host its Cold Storage Vault and protect its $5 billion treasury of SolarCoin currency. When operational, SolarCoin will be the first currency transaction sent to and from space.”

Again, while wallets in space will theoretically be more difficult to physically access, the issue with bitcoin pretty much by definition is not that thieves are physically stealing anything. Since all bitcoin heists take place on the internet — and SolarCoin (The SolarCoin Foundation’s variation on blockchain-based currency) wallets will still be on the internet — it seems they run the same risk of being boosted.

Or they would if SolarCoins were a better-known form of currency. Since there is little in the way of venues to spend or trade SolarCoins, it is not clear they are worth stealing at this point anyway.

But then, space-based blockchaining is still a little ways off. The space-based blockchain transaction system will be in service by late 2018.

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