SpaceChain, a U.K.-based firm with extraterrestrial aspirations, has beaten 13 other national applicants to secure a £440,000 (US$585,800) grant to co-develop decentralized satellite infrastructure.
- The funding was awarded by EUREKA's Globalstars initiative, which invited 14 countries in its network to submit proposals.
- SpaceChain said Thursday it will use the funding to develop a "decentralized satellite infrastructure with blockchain payload” at its core to allow direct tasking of a satellite in real time.
- SpaceChain and its project partners, Addvalue Innovation and Alba Orbital, will also be given access to research and development facilities.
- The planned blockchain-powered mesh network of low-earth orbit satellites would "democratize access to the nascent space sector with lower barriers to entry by individual companies," according to the firm.
- "Space exploration projects are tremendous in scale and require close collaboration and partnership, and this milestone unlocks new opportunities for building commercial solutions that leverage space and blockchain applications," said Nick Trudgen, chief commercial officer and U.K. director at SpaceChain.
- This summer, SpaceChain announced it had made its first blockchain transaction in space. Its International Space Station-hosted hardware authorized a 0.0099 BTC (about $92 at the time) transfer initiated by its chief technology officer, Jeff Garzik.
- Founded in 1985, EUREKA is an international network that sets out to foster collaboration in research and development across 45 countries.