Bitcoin Pioneer Jeff Garzik Signs Contract for 24 BitSat Satellite Constellation

Dunvegan Space Systems announced Thursday that it has signed a contract with Deep Space Industries Inc. to build a 24 BitSat satellite constellation as the first element of a new strategic agreement between the two companies.

Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr

Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr

About a year ago, Jeff Garzik’s Dunvegan Space and a technology design company named Deep Space Industries first unveiled an idea to develop and launch nanosatellites linked to the bitcoin network that can be used to broadcast blockchain transactions. And now this idea is coming true.

On the 12th of March, the Wall Street Journal reported that Dunvegan Space Systems signed the contract with Deep Space Industries to put into orbit the first 24-unit constellation of “BitSats” “to provide secure, remote backup for the digital currency’s growing store of critical data.”

“Just as Bitcoin is revolutionizing financial exchanges, Dunvegan will do the same for space systems with this project,” said Dunvegan CEO Jeff Garzik. “To do it right we needed a partner that was both visionary and technically capable. Once I began to work with Deep Space we realized we had found that partner.”

It’s planned to have the BitSats keep a complete record of bitcoin’s growing blockchain ledger to backup the database. In addition, according to Mr. Garzik’s statement, paying clients will be offered an opportunity to use BitSats for proprietary data storage solutions and communications services.

Moreover, Dunvegan has already established prices for the companies which might choose a space-based data storage. It will cost $1 million for one BitSat and $19 million for a full 24-unit constellation.

“As programmers, we are always asking that higher-level question: how can you solve that problem and at the same time several other problems? And that’s where the revenue model came from. Basically we look at [the BitSat] as a platform that can do on-demand data broadcasts to any location on earth, as well as store data for customers.”

Speaking about the two companies’ aims, Mr. Garzik also stated that they believed they could help people around the world benefit from space activities:

“Dunvegan is focused on providing software and data solutions for our customers, while the partnership with DSI will provide the hardware for this and several upcoming projects.”

The BitSat “nano-satellites” are small – 10 cm x 10 cm x 30 cm. According to the WSJ, the small size makes launching them “a much more cost-effective operation than traditional satellites because they can hitch rides with launches put other equipment into orbit.” Initially, the prototype size was 10x10x10, but it became larger because of the additional panels installed to fuel the on-board computers.

In conclusion, it’s worth mentioning a spacecraft design company Deep Space Industries, Dunvegan Space’s partner, which is already working on commercial spacecraft projects. Moreover, the company is planning to develop asteroid mining and utilize the resources of outer space.

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