Blockchain for cars and spacecraft, Spotcoin in Ukraine. The road ahead for Ukrainian IT
Written by: Sergiy Vakarin, UkraineIS Chairman
Photos: Vitaly Mamchyn
In March I participated in MobiCoin launch at the MWC, met with NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik and ICO-ready Spotcoin founders in Ukraine and discussed blockchain, spaceborne computers and our cybersecurity apps
Cryptocurrencies and cars
CEE region is known for most advanced blockchain solutions. The Blockchain Research Institute recently released “The Networked Hotbeds of Blockchain,” and its famous CEO Dan Tapscott published the map of the key 14 hubs for blockchain innovation in the world, including Ukraine, Estonia and Georgia. And a year ago Czech Republic became the world pioneer in allowing a cryptocurrency in car sales when Tesla retailer Alza announced they would accept bitcoin.
Their success inspired Mayfair dealer Dadiani Fine Art to start UK’s “first luxury cryptocurrency exchange” that offers Formula One cars in partnership with Heritage F1. The company accepts bitcoin and selected altcoins. Four rare F1 cars were already sold for about £4 million in litecoin to a Chinese millionaire.
Last month Daimler AG showed that car manufacturers can launch their own cryptocurrencies. Daimler, the giant that manufactures Mercedes-Benz presented the MobiCOIN project at the Mobile World Congress 2018. This new coin will be used to reward drivers for driving safely and smoothly at low speed.
This was not the only cryptocurrency launched at the MWC. Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten announced its own Rakuten Coin. The new cryptocurrency will allow loyal customers to buy goods and services from Rakuten globally, mitigating the exchange rate fees and helping the Amazon’s rival to spread its business worldwide.
Soon after the MWC, Huawei announced development of blockchain-based smartphones.
Spotcoin presentation in Ukraine
Cryptocurrency transactions, especially expensive car purchases, require reliable protection of digital identities. Upon return from the MWC to Ukraine, I discussed this issue with the founders of Spotcoin Tim Gick and Guram Rukhadze who came to Kyiv to present this new Georgia-based cryptocurrency.
Spotcoin is designed to bridge the gap between the traditional banking sector and digital currency marketplace. The company started as an OTC clearinghouse for easy movement between fiat and cryptocurrencies.
Spotcoin is running an ICO later this year. The founders market it as kind of an eBay for digital currencies.
Cooperation between two hubs of blockchain innovation, Ukraine and Georgia, would bring synergy to both countries. We agreed that Ukraine’s worldwide reputation as a reliable software hub will continue to grow. To build a reliable platform for digital currencies, good software support is essential, and Ukraine comes as a natural choice for Spotcoin’s office that will develop software for this cryptocurrency.
Blockchain starts a space journey
Software plays an important role in space industry, and Ukrainian programmers are involved in international cooperation with global space giants – for example, they develop apps for NASA and write code for SpaceX launches. Now organizations like NASA and ESA explore possible uses of blockchain technology in space projects.
NASA is teaming up with different companies to develop autonomous computing projects in space. Blockchain is one of potential solutions. At NASA Glenn, Thomas Kacpura’s team is experimenting with blockchain-based decentralized machine learning and artificial intelligence to design smart spacecraft with autonomous decision-making, without having to ask people back on earth. Blockchain is intended to link the deep space network.
Autonomous work of spaceborne computers is essential for the future interplanetary trips. These computers should be capable to make decisions on data priority in communication with Earth, as bandwidth and connection reliability will be a bottleneck. At the MWC I visited the HPE pavilion with supercomputers (known as Spaceborne computers) that are undergoing testing at the International Space Station. Also, I met with Vodafone&Nokia’s Mission to the Moon project that will launch a 4G network in space, and presented our cybersecurity solutions.
This was also a topic of my discussion with Randy Bresnik, the astronaut who took the Ukrainian flag to the ISS and brought it back to Ukraine. The Spaceborne Computer experiment was launched last year, soon after he took the command of the ISS.
Cybersecurity is crucial for space projects, digital identities of car owners and for platforms like Spotcoin. In many of these projects, Ukrainian software will be the central element. GU