The prospects for long-term life on Earth seem to be looking more and more in doubt due to climate change and nuclear war. Meanwhile, President Trump, although an apparent non-believer in climate change, has directed NASA to “enable human expansion across the solar system,” concentrating on manned missions to the moon and mars. It seems mankind may not be able to effectively plan for sustained life on Earth, but trust they are already planning for extraterrestrial economies on Mars.
It is now the official policy of the United States of America that we will return to the moon, put Americans on Mars, and once again explore the farthest depths of outer space. pic.twitter.com/wIigTELle4
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) August 24, 2018
Although cryptocurrencies don’t seem to be exactly taking off here on the blue planet, a government official from India suggests they will be in use across the solar system of the future. Dr, Kartik Hegadekatti of India’s Ministry of Railways, introduced a research paper titled, “Extra-Terrestrial Applications of blockchains and Cryptocurrencies.”
— dr.kartik (@hegadekatti) December 13, 2016
The official believes colonies scattered across the solar system could have an economy that works together thanks to Blockchain, an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions. No matter how far apart the worlds may be, the economies could be linked together across millions of miles and space.
“According to Hegadekatti, each planet or moon-based colony in the solar system could, in theory, have their own blockchains, synced together.”
Since the distances would be so vast, economies using tradition paper money and coins would grind to a halt unless there was a way to process transactions faster than the speed of light. Just imagine trying to run your credit card at the new Martian Wally World. If you think waiting for the transaction to go through is slow now, imagine how slow it would be if that information had to travel 34.8 million miles minimum. It takes light around 22 minutes to travel that distance. It would seem reasonable that even on Mars, nobody has time for that.
Hegadekatti, who works for the ministry’s Commercial Department, suggests that the process of recording transactions could take place on the space colonies via cryptocurrency mining. In order to do that mining, each colony would need to be equipped with special machines.
“Powerful microprocessors embedded in objects flown to (or created on) Mars can do ‘smart mining’ and provide the basis for a money exchange system. Machines containing embedded chips will ‘smart mine’ cryptocurrencies which can be used for Extra-Terrestrial transactions,” he wrote, concluding:
“Thus, machines launched into outer space will automatically add value to the world economy.”
As far-fetched and premature as it sounds, there is another logistical reason to assume cryptocurrency would be the space money of choice. That’s because sending any object into space costs an enormous amount of money to transport. Talk about an economy reliant on imports, in space, every imported object would be worth many times the value it holds on the home planet. Calling shipping costs “astronomical” would be putting it mildly in space.
Each dollar bill sent into space would jump in value, depending on how far it travels into the galaxy.
“If you carry a $100 note into space at $1,000/Kg it will cost $1 (as a $100 bill weighs approximately 1g). It means that the value of $100 bill will then be $101. If it is carried to the Moon it will cost even more. If you carry it to Mars, it will cost even more than that. So a $100 bill may actually have a value of $150 on Mars.”
Hegadekatti predicts that each space colony will one day have it’s own uniquely named cryptocurrency, such as MarsCoin, LunarCoin, JupiterCoin, SaturnCoin, and TitanCoin. It seems some of these coins with these names are already in the works, years before any space colony even exists.
— Mooncoin NL (@MooncoinNL) April 3, 2018
— Crypto Price Ticker (@TickerCrypto) February 16, 2016
Before we get too excited about the prospects of economies in space, keep in mind that the founders of India’s first crypto exchange, Unocoin, were recently arrested on criminal charges of leading a criminal conspiracy, cheating, and forgery. Bitcoin was banned in 2017. Then a committee led by the Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs, Subhash Chandra Garg, was convened to see if Bitcoin could be legalized again with stringent regulations in place to help prevent nefarious activity like money laundering.
Today, India has seen a rise in Bitcoin activity, but if the virtual money can’t get off the ground here on Earth, then how likely is it to have a heyday on Mars?
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