Mining cryptocurrency in space: literally to the moon?

06 May, 2018
by Paula D. Baciu
News
Mining cryptocurrency in space: literally to the moon?

The idea of mining in space has probably crossed the minds of miners before. ASICs (application-specific integrated circuit, aka mining equipment) producers are making it real.

ASIC-producer Space Miner One has sent the first mining device to the stratosphere earlier this week, presumably aiming for "the moon". Mining in space is the core aim of this company’s project, and one could say that they’ve achieved it.

Their CEO told CCN that: “The goal of Space Miner One is to symbolically express our belief that bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general is about the future and the revolutionary technology at its heart: so-called blockchain technology. And with this new technology, the sky’s the limit.”

The ASICs Space Miner One products are specially adapted to perform the mining process “at the edge of space”. Their concept is to send a capsule consisting of the mining machine itself, a Raspberry Pi 3 microcomputer, a battery, and a satellite transmitter miles above the ground (their first attempt was at 100,000 feet high), then open a latex balloon filled with helium which would take the capsule into the stratosphere. A parachute would then carry the equipment safely back to the ground.

For what we know, the lower temperatures met in space should yield higher productivity. It is nevertheless unclear whether the miner could be reused over several missions and whether this does make any difference to the ecological impacts of mining, after all.

Meanwhile, some other projects plan to include blockchain in the NASA program. NASA researcher, Dr. Kocsis, works on a strategy that would enable the organization to take equipment into space that could aid the exploration of space and enable computers to calculate important decisions on their own.

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