SpaceChain CTO Jeff Garzik’s Reddit AMA

This is a compilation of questions for SpaceChain CTO Jeff Garzik’s Reddit AMA which can be found here. You can also find a video of Jeff’s closing remarks at Draper University Space Tech Summit here. Thanks for your participation! You can join and continue the conversation on Twitter here.

Q1:

What is the short term goal for SpaceChain?

How many developers and team members are currently working for SpaceChain? After launching the first satellite, what benefit will it bring to public? Thank you.

A1:

Our short term goal is launching a satellite! In early February, the first SpaceChain satellite will be launched into Low Earth Orbit. The SpaceChain team is a diverse group of team members and partners (our other team!), some in the US, some in China, some in Singapore, and elsewhere. Including partners, there are at least 40+ engineers working on various parts of the SpaceChain ecosystem and spacecraft.

Q2:

Will SpaceChain be on Binance and Hitbtc to go to the moon? Could you connect to the satellites from a moonbase? How long will the satellites stay up? Can governments interfere their signals? Can you directly connect to the satellites or do you need a centralized access point? Will this pay for my retirement?

A2:

Many questions, let’s pick a few.

  1. Connect satellites to a moonbase: The eventual goal is to wire the solar system for networking. First Low Earth Orbit, then slowly moving out to other planetary bodies and moons (satellites around satellites). Satellites orbiting the moon are a necessary component of a moonbase.
  2. Satellite lifetime: Some nanosatellites and cubesats only stay in low earth orbit for 6 months. SpaceChain’s satellites should stay in orbit for at least 1–2 years, possibly up to 5 years depending on the rocket ride (small satellites are secondary payloads, which must follow the orbit of the primary payload).
  3. Initially “ground stations” are used, implying indirect connections. The next set of satellites will have more accessible radio frequencies and hardware — meaning that, yes, you will be able to connect directly to future satellites.

Q3:

Can you provide some of the technical details of the satellite? Can I interact with it? How long does a satellite last? And what will it do?

A3:

Sure:

• 10–100 kg

• Less than 200W power

• Up to 5 years in orbit

• Orbit height 500–2000 km

• Contains two onboard computers, one of which will run applications (blockchain software platform).

Q4:

Is Elon Musk Satoshi Nakamoto?

A4:

No :)

Q5:

Since the satellite will be in orbit, will there be treaties implemented internationally similar to the Antarctic treaty that will threaten the decentralization concept?

A5:

Great question! This is what people often wonder: jurisdiction.

Currently, the Outer Space Treaty and other treaties govern the space near Earth.

The satellite owner’s jurisdiction is what dictates the satellite’s nationality. If the satellite owner is Singaporean, then the satellite in space is in the Singapore jurisdiction.

This is similar to the Flag of Convenience concept for ocean-going ships.

Q6:

Could you explain more detail about the advances of replacing current satellite communications with the blockchain ecosystem and in near future, what advances can influence to the current blockchain ecosystem ?

A6:

Blockchain adds a new dimension to satellites: Secure multi-tenant use of the satellite platform.

In the old world — before SpaceChain — satellites were single owner, single application. Imagine buying a new computer or new smartphone for each app you want to run.

Blockchain adds application sandboxes which enables secure multi-user use on the satellite.

Blockchain also adds on-satellite validation, so that you don’t have to trust anyone on the ground. This is new in satellite industry; previously, satellites were simply “dumb repeaters” that relay signals from Earth, but perform little or no on-satellite computer processing.

Long term… computer data centers in space!

Q7:

Jeff, how will launching a node into space help the Qtum and the blockchain industry as a whole? How many nodes do you guys plan on sending over the next year — five years?

A7:

Launching a node into space will advance science, enabling university students and young developers to write space apps for the first time. This is made possible through Qtum blockchain technology. This will advance the Qtum project and give Qtum an excellent test of its software.

Q8:

Thank you for hosting this AMA especially after a long day at the Space Tech Summit. I wanted to know more about how SpaceChain will launch nodes in space. Specifically, will SpaceChain collaborate with SpaceX or other similar companies to launch nodes in space?

A8:

SpaceChain is using the Chinese Long March rocket:

In early February 2018, a test satellite designed and manufactured by Beijing Commsat will be launched. The satellite is equipped with a Raspberry Pi hardware development board that runs the full node program of the Qtum blockchain prototype and will be carried by CZ-2D rocket from Jiuquan satellite launch center. The full node verification program initiated by the SpaceChain Foundation demonstrates a partnership with Qtum Foundation and Beijing Commsat.

Q9:

Where do you see Qtum with space chain in a year

A9:

In space :)

Q10:

Will any of the tech be used with quantum entanglement properties. Thinking entanglement/quantum networking and long distance connectivity in the fields of space.

A10:

Some quantum encryption projects are very promising for space based applications.

I know a group of financial traders that are actively exploring the creation of their own messaging system — Telegram for traders — using this quantum encryption technology.

For quantum entanglement itself, that’s pretty advanced even for current space tech. I’ll save that for the science fiction writers.

Q11:

Are there any existing partnerships that you are able to comment on at this time?

A11:

Yes, several: Qtum, commsat, Beijing ACINFO (SylixOS makers), Kubos, Arch Mission and more.

Q12:

Who are Spacechains main competitors, if any?

A12:

We are a non-profit Singapore foundation — we want to collaborate with everyone, rather than compete.

Q13:

Has the ICO launched for space chain yet and Jeff, what exactly is your role in space chain

A13:

SpaceCash (SPC) is publicly listed on several exchanges and actively trading. The private sale was very successful.

My role is co-founder and CTO.

Q14:

How many man hours has it taken to get this project to where it currently is? Will there be a fee to use the nodes in space

A14:

It has taken many man hours over the past several years and several projects, culminating in this launch.

Yes, you will use SpaceCash (SPC) tokens to access the platform.

We want to make the platform accessible to as many people around the world as possible. It is important to bring humanity closer to space, and this is a key step: new application platforms in space.

Q15:

Is the satellite made out of a raspberry pi? If not, what are the components of the satellite?

A15:

Yes, the satellite includes compute hardware similar to raspberry pi. See this comment for more.

Q16:

What are all of the SPC token use cases?

A16:

Part of our concept is to develop an entire application platform like your smartphone, where anybody can write an app.

It is literally impossible to list all the use cases, because we want developers to innovate and develop new ones we haven’t thought of yet!

Q17:

Will there be connectivity issues with the satellite nodes. Is their success dependent upon future tech?

A17:

Great question. Orbiting satellites are definitely more challenging to connect than geosynchronous satellites. This comes at a benefit of a much lower cost, making replacement cheaper and easier.

Q18:

SPC — will there be any real use for SpaceCash i.e payments will be an opportunity to stake SPC?

A18:

Absolutely; in addition to the satellite app platform, we hope to see entrepreneurs create stores that accept SpaceCash. We will also use SpaceCash as incentives to projects that we sponsor or invest in.

Want to learn even more? Jeff Garzik’s closing remarks at Draper University Space Technology Summit video here.

SpaceChain Writer

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