JPMorgan tests Blockchain Payment Transaction In Space
Space-based payments will allow potential peer-to-peer DvP satellite marketplace in the long term, says JPMorgan
Recently, investment bank JPMorgan recently tested blockchain’s decentralized network to see if two machines could transact autonomously. The bank has entered into a partnership with the Danish space firm GOMspace. GOMspace allows companies to use their satellites to run the software in space. This is the world’s first bank-led tokenized value transfer in space, which was executed via smart contracts on a blockchain network, established between satellites orbiting the earth.
In an interview with Reuters, Umar Farooq, the CEO of JPMorgan’s blockchain business Onyx, explained that Internet of Things (IoT) is generally associated with consumer electronics, including smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home. Soon banks will be eager to process payments when these smart devices start doing transactions autonomously. However, banks want to be ready before they can take advantage of this technology. Hence, he thought space will be a ‘cool place’ to test it out. “The idea was to explore [internet of things] payments in a fully decentralized way,” he adds.
The transaction was executed between two GOMX-4 satellites in the low Earth orbit (LEO), which validated the approach towards a decentralized network where communication with the earth is not necessary. The satellite test proved IoT payments possible, and also demonstrated the possibility of a data marketplace between private companies’ satellites.
The GOMX-4 satellites were already on-orbit and are highly reconfigurable. This allows GOMspace to provide rapid on-orbit demonstrations, such as this project, as a service to the firm’s customers exploring new uses of space technology and the company’s smallsats.
The testing also highlighted that it might be possible to establish a marketplace where satellites are able to exchange data for payments, as more private firms start introducing their own devices in outer space, Tyrone Lobban, head of blockchain or DLT launch at Onyx. In other words, integration between satellites for payment purposes is feasible.
JPMorgan’s Onyx was launched last October. The objective behind it was to further the bank’s effort in decentralized payment and settlements between other financial institutes. JPMorgan has also formed a strategic deal with Ethereum-focused Consensys Labs, selling their private Quorum blockchain and becoming a part of the Interbank Information Network (rebranded as Liink), built on Quorum as a customer. JPMorgan has also created a virtual coin known as JPM Coin.
Blockchain is a shared digital ledger of transactions. In recent years, it has emerged as the technological software underpinning most virtual currencies, and has been widely adopted by enterprises across the globe.