SpaceChain pioneers multisignature blockchain transaction in orbit

SpaceChain UK successfully executed what is touted the first multisignature blockchain transaction in space, marking the completion of a significant milestone supported by the European Space Agency (ESA) Space Solutions as a Kick-start Activity.

In December 2019, SpaceChain launched a testbed for blockchain multisignature authentication service to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket via Nanoracks.

The multisignature transaction, performed by SpaceChain co-founder and CTO Jeff Garzik, was delivered through a blockchain hardware installed on the ISS — a powerful onboard computer supplied by GomSpace.

The ISS demonstration was also made possible by Nanoracks and its Space Act agreement with NASA. Nanoracks provided the necessary expertise and technology through its Nanolab platform, creating an efficient way for space utilisation that is conducive for space research and testing.

“SpaceChain aims to be the one-stop solutions provider for the integration of blockchain and space,” said Garzik. “As we continue to identify more use cases for blockchain-based satellite networks in space, we hope to bring blockchain to mass adoption.”

SpaceChain has conducted stringent testing to ensure robust and reliable connectivity between the blockchain hardware in space and land-based infrastructure on Earth. With the added remoteness and security of space infrastructure, new digital products can be built upon the technology and use cases identified for digital banks and fintech companies.

Upon initiating the multisignature transaction, the encrypted data was transmitted securely through a ground station to the ISS, which holds a private key to verify and approve the transaction.

“The success of the first multisignature blockchain transaction in space demonstrates the onboard computer’s capabilities in supporting decentralised constellations in space with unparalleled data processing performance,” said Niels Buus, CEO of GomSpace.

SpaceChain’s added security and resilience for integrated space and blockchain technology will provide a solid base for building out future solutions, as it continues to explore and develop applications based on its platform in collaboration with reputable and best-in-class alliance partners.