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Cryptosat launches second ‘cryptographically-equipped’ satellite using SpaceX rocket

The satellite constellation expansion was part of an effort to make space a “new battleground in the quest for bulletproof cryptography” by increasing computational power.

The company that launched a crypto-satellite module in May has announced that another piece of its blockchain-related infrastructure has entered Earth orbit.

According to an announcement, on January 3, one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicles delivered a “cryptographically-equipped” Cryptosat satellite called Crypto2 into orbit. Crypto2 was added to the firm’s satellite constellation as part of efforts to make space a “new battleground in the quest for bulletproof cryptography” by increasing its computational power.

“The release of Crypto2 provides us with increased availability and a more powerful specification to support the growing portfolio of use cases in our development pipeline,” said Cryptosat co-founder Yonatan Winetraub.

Winetraub told Cointelegraph that some of the use cases the company was investigating with the satellites included data encryption to a public key and retrieving a signed timestamp for applications such as smart contracts. Furthermore, in order to prevent “premature decryption,” the satellite can generate a cryptographic key pair and release a private key after a set amount of time.

SpaceX launched the module as part of its Transporter 6 mission, which took off from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on January 3 at 2:56 p.m. UTC. In addition to the Cryptosat payload, the Falcon 9 rocket launched 114 satellites for various operators around the world.

The Crypto1 — the first satellite Cryptosat launched — aimed to facilitate blockchain applications by providing a physically unreachable, tamper-proof platform, according to Cointelegraph in May. The satellite’s technology had previously been tested on the International Space Station, or ISS.

“There’s a lot of demand for this,” said Yan Michalevsky, co-founder of Cryptosat, in May. “When we look at protocols, particularly Web3, there are entire financial systems and smart contract systems, which are kind of digital legal agreements that rely on the trustworthiness of the cryptography behind it.”

Other private crypto companies, such as SpaceChain and Blockstream, have turned to space as a solution for blockchain validation, multisignature wallets, and verifiable time-delay functions. In 2019, SpaceChain sent technology to the International Space Station to demonstrate the receipt, authorization, and retransmission of blockchain-based transactions. Similarly, a Brazilian cryptocurrency user used Blockstream’s satellite network to launch a Bitcoin node into Earth orbit.

 

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