Lockheed Martin, Filecoin Foundation to Explore Hosting Blockchain Nodes in Space

The two plan to identify a test mission by August 2022.

AccessTimeIconMay 23, 2022 at 3:36 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 3:47 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

DAVOS, Switzerland — Defense contractor Lockheed Martin (LMT) and the Filecoin Foundation could soon make an open-source blockchain network accessible in space, the two organizations announced Monday at an event hosted by the Filecoin Foundation on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting.

Lockheed and Filecoin plan to identify a satellite or other space-faring platform that can hold the technology to operate an InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) node, identify that platform's needs and try and identify a test mission.

IPFS is an open-source data storage and sharing protocol aimed at speeding up data downloads by letting network participants hold or share information. The idea is to reduce latency when downloading data from remote locations, such as the moon, said Marta Belcher, the head of policy and general counsel at Protocol Labs.

Protocol Labs, a key player in the Filecoin ecosystem, is the original developer behind IPFS' code.

"[We're] redesigning a lot of the technologies [that] just aren't ready to work in space," Belcher said at Monday's event.

Joe Landon, vice president of advanced programs development at Lockheed, said the move is meant to anticipate an emerging "space economy."

"In the future, we'll have one satellite refueling another. That's a transaction that takes place entirely in space that doesn't really have a nexus back on Earth. Decentralization makes sense for that," Landon said.

Moreover, at present, satellites interact mainly with servers on Earth, but the vast distances of space mean instructions sent to objects orbiting the moon or Mars won't arrive for several minutes. That could be forever if urgent instructions or data needs to be shared.

Having satellites able to act as relays for this kind of data would reduce this latency, he said.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Nikhilesh De

Nikhilesh De is CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation. He owns marginal amounts of bitcoin and ether.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.