The Interplanetary File System (IPFS), a protocol for peer-to-peer file data sharing and storage, is set to live up to its name through a partnership with Filecoin and U.S. space and weapons company Lockheed Martin.
Filecoin, which relies on IPFS, wants to store an IPFS node on one of Lockheed Martin’s spaceships. When the spaceship gets shot into Earth’s orbit, IPFS could use the node as a relay to further decentralize its network, which hosts things like non-custodial domain names and censorship-resistant websites.
Filecoin and Lockheed hope that it will demonstrate the protocol’s usefulness and help power the fledgling space economy. IPFS grabs data from the closest server, so shooting nodes into space could be useful in case astronauts get into NFTs.
“Soon, space will no longer just be a destination. It will be home to the new space economy, independent of Earth. The work we’re doing with Filecoin reinforces an investment in building space infrastructure,” said Joe Landon, a vice president at Lockheed Martin.
The pair will spend the next five months researching the best spaceship to use.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that investors sank $10B into private space economy last year, totaling one-third of the total for the past decade. Morgan Stanley, the Wall Street investment bank, predicts the space economy will be worth $1T by 2040. George Pullen, the founder of MilkyWayEconomy, a consulting firm, said it’ll be closer to $4T.
Other blockchain companies want a piece of space pie, too.
Paul Chou, co-founder of crypto derivatives exchange LedgerX, is developing a space crypto called Foundation Coin. Its blockchain uses “proof-of-timed-work”, a consensus mechanism that takes into account the speed of light. About half a dozen engineers and developers from from Google, the NSA and NASA are working on the project.
SpaceChain, a Singapore-based project co-founded by Jeff Garzik in 2017, has launched a handful for satellite nodes for another cosmic blockchain.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX plans to launch a Dogecoin satellite into space this year. Geometric Energy Corporation, a partner to the mission, issued four tokens that let holders change the location, luminosity, color, and duration of advertisements displayed from the satellite.