SpaceChain carries out first multi-signature BTC transaction in space

Crypto company SpaceChain says it has completed the first multi-signature blockchain transaction in space — a step toward its goal of building a network of blockchain nodes placed on satellites.

According to a press release, the U.K.-based branch of the company, with support from the European Space Agency, delivered around 0.001 BTC (about $122) to two Bitcoin addresses through blockchain hardware installed on the International Space Station (ISS). 

The encrypted data was securely transmitted through a ground station to the ISS, which holds a private key to verify and approve the transaction. The transaction was carried out using an onboard computer created by nano-satellite manufacturer GomSpace. 

According to the project's whitepaper, one of the main rationales for putting blockchain nodes in space is that the network will be harder for authorities or third-party service providers to shut down. "Imagine a physically untouchable data center in space with a higher level of security because the data center cannot be accessed on Earth," it reads.

"Executing the multi-signature transaction in space encapsulates our continuous efforts in building out an open-source blockchain-based satellite network that is secure and immutable," Jeff Garzik, SpaceChain co-founder and CTO said in a press release.