TIL Cryptocurrency Might be our First Extra-Terrestrial Form of Money

in #til5 years ago (edited)

A recent news story at coindesk.com discusses a paper written by Kartik Hegadekatti titled "Extra-Terrestrial Applications of Blockchains and Cryptocurrencies."

It talks about the likelihood that we would use some form of cryptocurrency (or at least a digital currency) as the first form of money used in space or colonies off of our planet. Some of the current impediments to using standard paper or coin fiat currencies are the weight limitations on launching and transport. The most conservative estimates I've seen say it costs approximately $9,100 per pound to launch objects into space. Bear in mind that one pound of US paper money equals about 500 units. Imagine how many pieces of paper money would be necessary to setup a workable fiat economy in this way, and that's not even accounting for metallic coins which weigh even more.

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.

It goes on to discuss how sending up the micro-processors to provide the cryptocurrency mining, which could in turn produce whatever was needed over time, would be a much more efficient approach to setting up extra-terrestrial money systems.

"By the time man has setup a full-fledged colony on Mars and moved beyond the Kuiper (asteroid) belt, the extra-terrestrial economies can be linked by an intricate network of controlled blockchains. There can be a MarsCoin, on a Martian blockchain, LunarCoin, JupiterCoin, SaturnCoin, TitanCoin, and so on, on their respective controlled blockchains."

On top of this, trying to maintain a real-time economy based from Earth becomes more difficult as we begin to spread out away from our planet. It takes light 20 minutes to travel the distance to Mars, which increases as we go to further places. Could you imaging the amount of time it would take to complete transactions between these far away places with systems being run on our home planet?

There can be a MarsCoin, on a Martian BlockChain, LunarCoin, JupiterCoin, SaturnCoin, TitanCoin, and so on, on their respective Controlled BlockChains.

He continues this line of though extending the use of blockchain technology to also incorporate things such as voting, taxation, contracting and banking. Regardless of how the final setup looks, it definitely seems that it won't be able to easily use our current system of centralized paper or coin money, even in a digital form.

Read the News Story and Paper:
New Paper Explores Cryptocurrency for Space Colonies
Paper: Extra-Terrestrial Applications of Blockchains and Cryptocurrencies

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Image Sources:
Space Money
Money Launch


Very cool. They have always used 'credits' in most SF stories - if there was money in the universe they imagined.

Yes, I do think there will be no cash in space.

Very true. As usual the SciFi writers have the future methods in place way ahead of time.

I'd seen some talk of plastic money to reduce weight, but yea...still don't see that working. Just the time delay would need something more local to deal with it. I couldn't imagine waiting 20 minutes or more for my 'debit card' transaction to complete. Lol

Haha, got a little @ubg feel to the first image :P

Lol! I'll see if I can find the ascii version. :P

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Thanks for your post. Upvoted.

Check out my old post -> Coins In Space? Copernic Is Your Friend

Your's was a very interesting read too! Thanks for sharing that post.