Hubble Space Telescope Astronomers Using New Cryptocurrency To Cost-Effectively Accelerate Deep Space Research

Business Wire

SAN FRANCISCO & BALTIMORE–()–AIKON, a company which helps organizations and businesses use blockchain-based services, today announced CPU Tokens, a new cryptocurrency, and the first customer to use them: The Space Telescope Science Institute (or STScI), Science Operations Center of the Hubble Space Telescope. Researchers at the Institute are using CPU Tokens to pay AIKON partner HADRON for their workers to categorize deep space images from the Hubble’s massive repository.

Unlike other cryptocurrencies, CPU Tokens are exchangeable for a real world, non-volatile value — the average cost of computing power as charged by cloud hosting services like Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud. In a process similar to SETI@Home, STScI will buy CPU Tokens from AIKON, which are then spent on processing requests on HADRON, where users around the world will run HADRON’s image recognition AI in everyday web browsers to automatically categorize millions and millions of deep space images. (A detailed, illustrated explanation is available on AIKON’s Medium, including details of a bounty program for developers who want to test out the Hubble image processing API.)

This project is among the very first in which a major, reputed organization is leveraging cryptocurrency and blockchain for significant projects at scale. The program employs AIKON’s Open Rights Exchange (or ORE), a simplified protocol which manages the complex processes of blockchain-based services for traditional organizations which want to use them.

It’s incredibly exciting to see STSci using the ORE protocol and CPU Tokens for their research,” said AIKON Chief Product Officer and co-founder Marc Blinder. “We hope this new approach to research helps us better understand our universe — and eventually, also becomes the de facto standard for all blockchain-based API transactions.”

The Institute will get processing power from HADRON that’s far more affordable and powerful than that offered by cloud computing platforms such as IBM Watson, operating about 10x faster and 90%+ lower processing costs. And because AIKON will manage and invoice all cryptocurrency transactions, the organization will be able to leverage the power of blockchain without ever having to deal directly with blockchain.

As a government-funded organization, we are always looking for cost-effective solutions to better process Hubble images,” said Josh Peek, associate astronomer and Data Science Mission Office Project Scientist at STScI. “Thanks to AIKON and HADRON, large organizations like us can use cryptocurrency for data processing projects — safely and reliably.”

The Hubble data processing is managed by platform partner HADRON, whose miners perform AI and parallel computations for major companies and organizations.

It’s an honor to work with the Space Telescope Science Institute and AIKON,” said Cliff Szu, CEO of HADRON. “Our users have already processed one billion-plus images on our platform for other customers. We can’t wait to see what wonderful things they discover in deep space.”


AIKON builds platforms for people who want to use blockchain-based services for real world applications. Developers from around the globe can use AIKON’s API rights management protocol, stable payment token, and decentralized marketplace to bridge today’s apps to the latest blockchain technologies — and monetize their APIs in an economy that’s open to all. AIKON is based in San Mateo; connect with us online at, on Telegram, and @TeamAIKON.


HADRON helps organizations overachieve by harnessing untamed data with blockchain AI. Join us at and @HADRON_cloud

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