April 1st, 2021, BELLEVUE, Wash., — Blueprint Technologies has announced that it is adding a SpaceX Starlink connector to its flagship product, Conduit.
What is Starlink?
Per the main Starlink website:
“SpaceX is developing a low latency, broadband internet system to meet the needs of consumers across the globe. Enabled by a constellation of low Earth orbit satellites, Starlink will provide fast, reliable internet to populations with little or no connectivity, including those in rural communities and places where existing services are too expensive or unreliable.”
As reported by Business Insider, “SpaceX’s Starlink appears to have launched about 1,300 satellites into orbit and plans to establish a megaconstellation of up to 42,000 spacecraft by mid-2027.”
Why add this connector?
This might all seem like a strange move for Blueprint. After all, Conduit is all about unifying data assets into a centralized data catalog, avoiding the need to copy and move data around. What data from Starlink could an organization find even remotely useful?
One potential answer lies in the growth of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The why, what, and how of NFTs is beyond the scope of this announcement, but for those interested The Verge has a great NFT primer available here.
Another article from The Verge notes, “Individual pieces of crypto art, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), are at least partially responsible for the millions of tons of planet-heating carbon dioxide emissions generated by the cryptocurrencies used to buy and sell them.” This is due to the amount of electricity used to process the Ethereum blockchain transactions, processed using a model known as proof of work. “The process is incredibly energy inefficient on purpose. The idea is that using up inordinate amounts of electricity — and probably paying a lot for it — makes it less profitable for someone to muck up the ledger. As a result, Ethereum uses about as much electricity as the entire country of Libya.”
There are alternative models to processing blockchain transactions, such as proof of stake. The Flow blockchain leverages this model, which requires participants to place a deposit before processing a transaction.
We had a different thought.
What if blockchain transactions were processed in orbit? Even if the proof of work model were utilized, the energy consumption would be off-planet, and likely avoid the injection of carbon dioxide emissions onto the planet.
A single satellite would quickly reach capacity, but a network of interlinked satellites, such as the Starlink megaconstellation, could be the perfect candidate for an off-planet computing cluster.
If you are interested in staying up to date on this Starlink connector (and our other connectors), please visit our Conduit page for more information.