Astronomers using cryptocurrency to accelerate deep space research

The Space Telescope Science Institute, the Science Operations Center of the Hubble Space Telescope, is the first space research institution to use a cryptocurrency to accelerate research into deep space by categorizing images from Hubble's massive repository faster and less costly than the currently applied technology.

Researchers at the STSci institute are paying AIKON partner HADRON by the cryptocurrency, for their workers to categorize the deep space images. Any user around the world can run HADRON’s cloud image recognition AI in everyday web browsers to automatically categorize millions and millions of deep space images. They are then paid in cryptocurrency bought by the institute from AIKON. The cryptocurrency is also being used to pay for a bounty program to developers who want to test out the Hubble image processing API.

The new cryptocurrency is known as CPU Token and is a native token for AIKON, a company that helps organizations and businesses to use blockchain-based services. The token was announced yesterday by the company and is a form of stable coin. It can also be exchanged for a value equal to the average cost of computing power as charged by cloud hosting services like Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud.

HADRON CEO Cliff Szu said their users have already processed more than one billion images on the platform for their other customers. He said it is an honor to work with the Space Telescope Science Institute and AIKON adding that they "can’t wait to see what wonderful things they discover in deep space.”

Faster than cloud

Additionally, the institute is using Open Rights Exchange (or ORE), a protocol used by organizations implementing blockchain to manage complex processes of blockchain-based services. HADRON will provide processing power that's more affordable and powerful than what is currently being offered by cloud computing platforms such as IBM Watson. It will run at about 10x faster and at 90% plus lower processing costs than cloud computing platforms.

Associate astronomer and Data Science Mission Office Project Scientist at STScI said the organization is always looking for cost-effective solutions to process Hubble images better. He said that large organizations can now use cryptocurrency for data processing projects given crypto and blockchain projects like AIKON that help them to achieve this.

Not dealing directly with the blockchain

Additionally, the institute will not need to directly deal with the blockchain (hence removing any possible complexities) since AIKON will manage and invoice all cryptocurrency transactions. Partner HADRON will manage the Hubble data processing. Their miners perform AI and parallel computations for major companies and organizations.

The institute is therefore among the major, reputed organizations using cryptocurrency and blockchain for large-scale projects. IKON Chief Product Officer and co-founder Marc Blinder termed it as an "incredibly exciting" undertaking saying he hoped that the new approach would help to "better understand our universe" and eventually "become the de-facto standard for all blockchain-based API transactions.”

AIKON builds platforms for people and businesses wanting to use blockchain-based services for real-world applications. Developers of companies from around the world are able to use AIKON's API rights management protocol, stable payment token, and decentralized marketplace to connect existing platforms and apps to latest blockchain technology. Developers are also able to monetize their APIs in an open economy open to everyone.

David Kariuki

David Kariuki likes to regard himself as a freelance tech journalist who has written and writes widely about a variety of tech issues that affect our society daily, including cryptocurrencies (see and; climate change (, OpenSim and virtual reality (see He is currently pursuing a MSc in Environmental Management at Open University. He does write here not to offer any investment advise but with the intention of informing audience, and articles in here are of his own opinion. Anyone willing to use any opinion here as advise to invest in crypto should obviously take own responsibility and accountability of their losses (or benefits) thereof. You can reach me at or

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