Humanity is on a trajectory to become a multiplanetary species like so much of our science fiction depicts. As this transition happens, there will be a shift in how we do commerce and collaborate with those on and off the planet. Can fiat currency make the leap or will cryptocurrency prove to be the economic tool of future civilizations?
FUNDING THE EXPANSION TO THE MOON AND MARS
The space industry is becoming increasingly private and less nation-based. Whereas space exploration was previously driven by governments trying to flex and demonstrate engineering and technical superiority, it’s now dominated by private enterprises. Companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic are now driving the push off of mother earth.
This shift is exciting, as the future of space exploration won’t be hinged upon how governments view its geopolitical utility. It is more democratized in the sense that if you have billions of dollars to throw around, you can beat NASA back to Mars. However, the average person is still largely unable to contribute to the development of space-based projects.
Fortunately, blockchain technology is enabling international and private crowdfunding that will allow anyone passionate about space exploration with a bit of extra money to invest and contribute to the advancement of spacebound initiatives. Spacebit, for example, is launching their own cryptocurrency to facilitate this sort of democratized space investment.
Whether this individual company is successful or not, space exploration is bound to become a human effort more than any particular nations endeavor. As this happens, we’ll need international and decentralized methods of funding spacefaring projects. Fiat currency falls short in this regard. The logistics of accepting many of the world’s currencies makes it impractical to raise funds in such a manner.
ENABLING EXTRATERRESTRIAL INFRASTRUCTURE
Spacechain is a great example of a company using blockchain and cryptocurrency to build the next level infrastructure that will lower the barriers of entry to the space industry. Their blockchain based software will allow the first multiple tenant satellites. To put this in perspective, if anyone currently wants to run software on a satellite, they have to put their own up or pay someone else to do it. Needless to say, the cost is exorbitant. What they are on the way to doing is reducing the cost of running software in space by 10,000 fold. This will pave the way for a new ecosystem of space based systems.
Just recently it was announced that NASA is developing autonomous spacecrafts that use Ethereum-based blockchain technology to facilitate secure and decentralized communication between themselves. This tech will allow individual spacecrafts to essentially make their own decisions based on data received from other spacecraft in the network.
What these projects may lack in sexiness, they make up for in sheer practical utility. They demonstrate why blockchain and cryptocurrency will be as prevalent in space as the internet is on earth.