How Can Space Technologies Benefit the Development of Blockchain?

A new funding opportunity has recently become available to drive innovation in the development of blockchain through space technology.

The blockchain kick start activity scheme is searching for companies and organisations developing new technology to benefit blockchain in various sectors.


What’s So Important About Blockchain?

The development of blockchain technologies and applications has the potential to revolutionise wide-ranging sectors which affect our everyday lives.

The internet is being transformed into an internet of value, allowing people to exchange digital information and assets without the need for centralised structures such as banks and government agencies.

Digital assets include things as varied as currencies, identity information and property titles.  Through blockchain technologies, these can all be stored securely, in a far more transparent way than ever before. This could help prevent against fraud or hacks across all business transactions in the future.

The industries in which blockchain could have the biggest potential include:

  • Insurance: The digital storage of assets could eliminate the need for paperwork and make processes more streamlined.
  • Financial services: Blockchain has the potential to cut out middlemen and banks from transaction processes through satellite technologies. It could even become a platform in itself for the trade of goods and services.
  • Utilities: Distributed power grids run by IoT networks could decentralize the energy industry.
  • Supply Chain Management: Blockchain could enhance asset tracking for better security and trust between stakeholders.
  • Government institutions: Digitizing health records, tax systems and other documents could greatly improve efficiency within government institutions.


What’s Space Technology Got to Offer?

Space enabled technologies such as Satellite Communications, Satellite Navigation, Earth Observation and Human Space Flight Technology have a lot to offer the development of blockchain;

  • Satellite Communications (SatComs) can expand coverage for blockchain users in remote areas or areas lacking in terrestrial communication infrastructure.
  • Satellite Earth Observation (EO) could benefit the insurance sector through satellite imagery. For example, in the case of damage caused by flooding, satellite images could provide the evidence needed to speed up claims. It could also aid the supply chain management sector by providing detailed information on the location of valuable assets in real time.
  • Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) are essential for any blockchain application that relies on geographical referencing.


Keen to Apply?

Any business or organisation wishing to apply for the KickStart activity funding need to follow these steps:

  • Complete an online questionnaire found on the ESA-BA website
  • Download the invitation to tender from the site and set up a ‘Bidder Restricted Area’
  • Produce a written proposal
  • Submit your proposal and supporting documents by 8thApril 2019

Successful applicants could receive up to €60,000 in funding to complete their project.


Funding Blockchain Innovation

This funding initiative is being driven by ESA business apps, providing expert support to businesses looking to utilise space enabled technology in the development of new commercial services.

To find out more about the types of funding and project management support available, visit the ESA-BA funding page.