World’s First Crypto-Satellite Blasts off

cryptosat crypto satellite
The small satellite no bigger than a coffee mug is made from off-the-shelf parts and can be a tamper-proof platform to secure blockchains and other Web3 protocols.

World’s first “crypto-satellite” Crypto1 was launched into space on Wednesday, May 25. Wednesday’s SpaceX rocket Falcon 9 launching in Florida blasted the “crypto-satellite” into low Earth orbit, paving the way for secure blockchain-related cryptography in space. The small satellite no bigger than a coffee mug is made from off-the-shelf parts and can be a tamper-proof platform to secure blockchains and other Web3 protocols. 

Cryptosat, the company that created Crypto1, describes it as the first ever physically unreachable and tamper-proof platform. Co-founder Yan Michalevsky said this type of platform is the first off-Earth “root-of-trust,” a source that can always be trusted within a cryptographic system that is “not dependent on other satellites by other companies” but provides the sufficient hardware in orbit.

“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.” — Yan Michalevsky, co-founder of Cryptosat.

The Future of Crypto-Satellite Technology

According to Cryptosat representatives, one of the most exciting applications for the module is to set up zero-knowledge proof protocols, which have found their use in systems like voting in a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) to make decisions without exposing individuals’ votes.

Apart from that, the module allows for the possible deployment of an entire blockchain. Having the ledger out of reach from attackers could mean crypto mining could become a relic of the past, as it would theoretically no longer need decentralization through multiple validators. The communication with the satellite is done via radio frequency that cannot be hidden to perform an attack. Anyone with an antenna will be able to spot an intruder.

The company admits, however, that uploading data from the Earth is still slow, and that the risks are significant. Working with a space asset is not the same as working on Earth. Should something go wrong, it will not be as easy to fix as if the module was located on the planet. This, along with the speed of data transfer, is something to work on.

Cryptosat are now working on creating and deploying a whole satellite system and expanding their Earth-based facilities for better connection. According to the company’s representatives, the goal is to launch “a couple dozen of them” to  provide continuous availability as they’re orbiting the Earth.

In March, a Cryptosat satellite took part in multiple experiments on the ISS. One experiment created cryptographic signatures with the keys generated and kept in space.