Sure, there’s hype. But blockchain has concrete space applications

SAN FRANCISCO — Since it burst onto the scene with Bitcoin, blockchain has been linked with other cryptocurrencies, digital artwork and extraordinary energy consumption.

The heart of blockchain, though, is a distributed ledger with important applications for the space sector. Space companies, academic researchers and government agencies are exploring how distributed ledgers can make supply chains more efficient, enhance cybersecurity and simplify venture finance.

“Is there hype? Yes,” said Karen Jones, senior project leader and technology strategist at the Aerospace Corp. Center for Space Policy. “But underneath that is a structure that allows [distributed ledger technology] to play a role in various business processes that require transparency, accountability and decentralization.”

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