First 'crypto satellite' launched on SpaceX rocket
The nanosatellite Crypto1 will be launched via a SpaceX rocket launch in Florida on Wednesday
By Shashank Bhardwaj
A file image of Falcon 9 rocket taking off. ‘Crypto1’ - the first crypto satellite will be launched by a Falcon 9 rocket for SpaceX’s Transporter 5 mission; Image: JOEL KOWSKY / NASA / AFP
The first crypto satellite will be blasted off into low Earth orbit by a SpaceX rocket launch in Florida on Wednesday. The launch will set the foundation for secure cryptography related to the blockchain in space.
Cryptosat is the company behind ‘Crypto1–the first crypto satellite–that will be launched by a Falcon 9 rocket for SpaceX’s Transporter 5 mission. The satellite, which is no bigger than a coffee mug, has been built using off-the-shelf parts. The satellite can prove vital as a tamper-proof platform for securing and launching blockchains and Web3 platforms. The platform would be physically unreachable. Trials related to blockchain satellite technology have already begun on the International Space Station.
“We’re basically joining the Uber of spaceflight. Everybody goes into the same orbit, and we’re one of the passengers,” said Yonatan Winetraub, the co-founder of Cryptosat.
Yonatan further added, “SpaceX launched a bunch of satellites, each one of them is doing something else. It doesn’t matter for our service. We are hoping to use our satellite to provide cryptographic services for our customers here on Earth, which won’t interfere with the other satellites at all.”
Cryptosat’s other co-founder Yan Michalevsky explained that the Crypto1’s platform would act as the first off-world ‘root-of-trust.’ It would act as a source ‘not dependent on other satellites by other companies’ that could be trusted within a cryptographic system. Such a source would, instead, provide hardware in orbit itself.
Michalevsky went on to explain the applications for the module. He said that one of the most exciting applications for the module would be to set up zero-knowledge proof protocols. These protocols are increasingly being used in Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) for voting and making decisions without revealing the votes cast by the individuals.
Talking about the significance of Crypto1’s launch, he said, “There’s a lot of need for this. If we’re looking into protocols, especially in Web3, there are whole financial systems and smart contract systems, kind of digital legal agreements that depend on the trustworthiness of the cryptography behind it.”
Michalevsky added, “Working with a space asset is not the same as working here on Earth. On the ground, if something goes wrong, you just open a terminal and debug it. When it happens in space, that’s not always available.”
Another application for the module the co-founder talked about was the possible deployment of an entire blockchain in space. Since the communication would be done via radio frequency, it will be difficult to hide an attack. And the blockchain, being hosted over a trusted module in space, will be away from the reach of hackers who have the incentive and ability to hack earth-based blockchains.
Shashank is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash