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Bitcoin Mining Takes Off Above the Stratosphere

Sweden based company Miner One has launched a bitcoin mining rig into the stratosphere where it successfully mined the digital currency from over 100,000 feet (35,000 meters) above the earth, states the company in its blog post.

The rig called Space Miner One was launched using a hydrogen balloon with a capsule assembly attached containing an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) and a Rasberry Pi3 microcomputer capable of processing the data at that height.

The Space Miner One capsule also contained instruments for navigation and tracking, along with the material necessary to protect the rig from extreme temperatures. It landed two and a half hours after take-off having mined at a hashrate of 330 megahashes per second.

The project is the brainchild of Swedish CEO Pranas Slušnys, who feels that mining in space will have far-reaching consequences for the cryptocurrency industry as a whole:

“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.”

Miner One is presently planning to build a mining farm in northern Sweden region, chosen for its favorable low temperatures. The company,  in a statement, mentioned that even NASA is researching the possibility of using blockchain in space for communications and navigation.

There are detractors though. BTCManager reported last year that a blog post by cryptography consultant Peter Todd suggested that bitcoin mining had a future in space, but primarily in using solar power. Todd argued that NASA’s probes near the sun indicate that it would be a good area to locate solar-powered miners, but felt it might be unprofitable due to its latency and the fact that most of the hash power is on earth.

The European Space Agency agreed that it would financially impracticable, reporting that, “due to the harsh space environment, the lifetime of current solar panels in space is significantly shorter compared to the Earth surface.”

However, Todd agrees that the implications of blockchain technology are far-reaching. Juan Benet, the inventor of Interplanetary File System (IPFS), plans to merge this technology with the blockchain, envisioning a future where:

“IPFS connects all these different blockchains in a way that’s similar to how the web connects all these websites together. The same way that you can drop a link on one page that links to another page, you can drop a link in ethereum [for example] that links to zcash and IPFS can resolve all of that.”

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Image source:  Pixabay ( Communication-76, CC0 License)

 

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