Blockchain is an emerging technology which enables people and organisations to share and transact sensitive information in a trusted way. With blockchain technologies, information can be stored in an immutable way, privacy can be protected and it is unnecessary that sharing or transacting parties trust each other. There are a number of parallels between the domains of Space and Blockchain. Both are unforgiving environments and require resilient infrastructure. And both deal with uncharted territories. A number of synergies are identified where Space can further enable Blockchain to its full potential. These synergies overlap in the satellite navigation and satellite telecommunications domain. Satellite telecommunications provide a global reach for many applications. For blockchain specifically, it provides a broadcast capability where ledgers can be disseminated independent of terrestrial networks and thereby strengthening the resiliency of the blockchain network.
An example that makes use of this is the Blockstream Satellite project which employs 4 Geostationairy satellites to broadcast globally the latest blocks of the Bitcoin ledger. The Lightning Network (LN), which is a 2nd layer protocol on top of Bitcoin for micropayments and fast transactions, will soon make use of subscriptionless Internet Of Things (IOT) nano-satellites in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO). With a store-forward functionality, two entities can communicate/transact privately and securely on a global level with non-proprietary ground system hardware. Communication through these satellites is further secured by enabling a ‘Proof of Space’ signature into the data forwarded. By combining navigation signals from GPS an Galileo, a timing of transmission can be verified as the location of the satellite is imprinted in the data. Upon reception of signals, the signal strength in combination with the location of the satellite will be used to verify the data.