CryptocurrencyNews Analysis

Will Bitcoin Go Intergalactic?

By November 24, 2017 No Comments
If Elon Musk's audacious vision of a million-person Mars colony succeeds, what kind of money will they use? We were thinking the same thing....

interglactic gold? If Elon Musk's audacious vision of a million-person Mars colony by 2070 succeeds, what kind of money will they use? We were thinking the same thing....

Disclaimer:  The information in this blog represents the opinions of its author and is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended as investment advice. Cryptocurrency markets are extremely risky so you should only invest money you are willing to lose.

Water? Life? Oxygen? Money?

Is there Life on Mars? Water? Oxygen?

Now here's the big question - Money?

Forward-thinking investors have got to be wondering - what kind of currency will be used on Mars?

Global? What About Interplanetary?

What do you think when you hear the word "bitcoin"?  If you think borderless global cash start thinking bigger ...... wayyyyyyyyyyy bigger.

Anybody got change for a bitcoin?

Anybody got change for a bitcoin?

As the first mover and the first cryptocurrency to really hit it big here on earth, bitcoin is uniquely positioned to become the de facto intergalactic digital blockchain-based store of value and intermediary of commerce.

So instead of thinking borderless global currency, start thinking interplanetary.

Mission To Mars

Elon Musk wants to send the first mission to Mars by 2022, and he hopes to establish a million-person colony on the red planet by the 2070. SpaceX, NASA, and the United Arab Emirates are all eyeing Mars, with plans to establish colonies within the next century.  The European Space Agency is also considering plans, and is talking about the potential legal structure of such a colony.

take away all the limitations - borders, governments, central banks, the earth's atmosphere - and try to place a valuation on a currency that has a limited supply (21 million bitcoins) and could function on any one of hundreds of billions of earth-like planets.

remove all the limitations - borders, governments, central banks, the earth's atmosphere - and try to place a valuation on a currency that has a limited supply (21 million bitcoins) and could function as the de facto intermediary of value transfer and storage on hundreds of billions of earth-like planets and space colonies.

If Elon Musk's audacious ambition succeeds, what type of currency will they use? ..... we were thinking the exact same thing.

Far Away

Mars is re-he-he-he-he-eeeeeeeeaaaaaaalllllllly far away, between 33 and 250 million miles (more than 100 times further than the moon), and the average distance is over 100 million miles, which is further than the Sun.  The two planets come within 35 million miles of each other every 2 years, and they can be as far apart as 250 million miles, which is about 3 times as far as the distance to the Sun.

Sometimes, during an event called a conjunction, Mars is actually on the opposite side of the sun from Earth and it is impossible for the 2 planets to communicate for several weeks.  At its closest, it will take six to eight months to travel there and it takes a radio signal about 30 minutes to travel between the planets.

Landing on Mars - did you remember your bitcoin wallet?

If bitcoin's scaling and speed solutions could be properly planned with an eye towards space, and the potential to support an interplanetary economy, then the question will be - just how big will the interplanetary and intergalactic economy become and how much of it can bitcoin dominate?

Absurd & Chaotic

It's unlikely that a Martian colony would use a government-issued fiat currency. One of the reasons is that any Martian colony will certainly be made up of an international consortium funded by a mix of government agencies and private companies.

So there is really no certainty about what the governing law will look like, but certainly transporting Earth's current labyrinthine system of exchange rates between hundreds of fiat currencies to other planets would be absurd and chaotic in a colony made up of earthlings from different countries, along with some born in space or on Mars, all living next door to each other.

Snafus & Kerfuffles

So a blockchain-based cryptocurrency is the perfect solution.

Also, there will likely be trade and commerce not only between Mars and Earth and other planets as they become colonized but also between planets and interplanetary colonies such a space stations.

Do you really expect them to accept dollars?

Do you really expect them to accept dollars?

Bitcoin is uniquely positioned, as the first mover and the first cryptocurrency to really hit it big here on earth, to snag a piece of the interplanetary economy.

Now, of course we all know that bitcoin has had its share snafus and kerfuffles over scaling and speed here on earth, but that's a good thing.  If those scaling and speed solutions could be properly planned with an eye towards space, giving them the flexibility to support an interplanetary space economy, then the question will be - just how big will the interplanetary and intergalactic economy become and how much of it can bitcoin dominate?

A Borderless, Multi-Dimensional, Galactic Map

This is why talking about bitcoin's valuation from a limited frame of reference is problematic.  It is being compared to government-issued fiat currencies which are limited by borders, banks, regulations and the Earth's atmosphere. An interplanetary cryptocurrency will start with a clean slate - a roadless, borderless, multi-dimensional galactic map not limited to the surface of any planet.

Landing on Mars - did you remember your bitcoin wallet?

Landing on Mars - did you remember your bitcoin wallet?  if you're lucky enough to make it to mars, you probably won't waste the fuel to haul cash or coins along with you, and who's got time to wait for a credit card confirmation from earth? once every 2 years the planets will be unable to communicate for several weeks.

Cash Is Heavy

What about cash?  It is unlikely that a Martian colony will use a fiat currency. The fuel required to haul enough dollars, euros, and yen up there wouldn't even pay for itself, let alone be enough to support the economy of a rapidly growing colony.  Cash as we know it is not a feasible solution.

Credit Cards Are Slow

What about credit cards?  Credit card transactions would have to be cleared through Earth's banking system.  Do you have time to wait a month for a credit card transaction to clear?  During the conjunction Mars and Earth will be on totally opposite sides of the sun, making communication impossible for several weeks.  At their closest points signal transmission and reception will take more than 30 minutes under the best conditions, and credit card transactions time out after 40 seconds.

The byzantine foreign exchange rate structure would be prohibitively complicated, and current bank cross-border remittance fees would put a chokehold on commerce even between next-door (next pod?) neighbors, if they happen to be from different countries or born in space or on Mars.

Cash is heavy and won't even pay for the fuel to transport enough of it to support a growing martian colony.

Cash is heavy and won't even pay for the fuel to transport enough of it to support a growing martian colony.

Remove All Limitations

Because bitcoin is borderless and isn't even limited by a planetary atmosphere, it is ideally positioned as the first mover to have an opportunity to snag a piece of the interplanetary economy.

Just how big could the interplanetary and intergalactic economy become?  Nobody Knows.

But remove all the limitations - borders, governments, central banks, the earth's atmosphere - and try to place a valuation on a currency that has a limited supply (21 million bitcoins) and could function on any one of hundreds of billions of earth-like planets or space colonies.

Do you have a month to wait for a credit card transaction to clear?

Do you have a month to wait for a credit card transaction to clear?

Now multiply the entire economy of the earth, which is currently about $75 to $100 trilllion annually, by hundreds of billions and try to imagine what even a tiny fraction of that intergalactic economy would amount to - you're starting to see the real potential of an intergalactic bitcoin.

Could bitcoin become THE de facto intergalactic currency?  That remains to be seen.  But as first mover here on Earth, it certainly has a big-time head start.

So if you're tired of trying to red-pill your friends & family on bitcoin & blockchain, tired of trying to justify its relentless climb in valuation, just say what I say: "dude - think big, think intergalactic gold".

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