What would we call money in space? Star Bucks? Mars Bars? Mooney? Time will tell. But, with space exploration technology and space appeal growing in leaps and bounds, in addition to the century-long interest in Mars that is astronomically advancing in recent times, some analysts predict it is likely that cryptocurrencies will play a vital role in the intergalactic economy.
Would Bitcoin Be Used?
There are proponents of the use of Bitcoin for intra- and inter-planetary transactions. However, in a future where Earth colonizes various asteroids, moons, and planets across the solar system, problems could arise from the use of a single coin.
Take, for instance, the much-anticipated colony on Mars that is projected for 2050 by SpaceX CEO and major Mars explorationist Elon Musk. The enormous distance to Mars from Earth would mean that there would be communication lags, so it would take quite a while to confirm Bitcoin transactions that originate on Mars, which could cause problems. In addition, the inhabitants of Mars would be handicapped (in terms of mining Bitcoin), as the average signal delay between Mars and Earth is almost half an hour one-way, and it takes just 10 minutes to mine one block of Bitcoin. With these limitations in view, it seems as though the use of different coins for different worlds would be the best bet.
Mars With Its Own Coin?
Even if Mars has its own crypto coin, this scenario could become problematic in another way. As the human civilization’s home planet, Earth would likely have better computing power for a long time. This means that Earth-based miners who are equipped with the Mars crypto’s blockchain could hypothetically mine it faster than Mars-based miners, which would take us back to the original problem indicated earlier. Therefore, the best solution would be if a planet-specific coin is created with blockchain algorithms that would recognize and reject activity from other planets.
While some suggest that quantum links could mean instantaneous data transfers, this remains a theoretical proposition as of yet. Nonetheless, it’s not unlikely that technology would have evolved to take care of this problem by the time the human race is ready to conquer the galaxy. Until then, let’s keep our fingers crossed.