Space and Cryptocurrency
Space colonization and cryptocurrency go together like chocolate and strawberries, or Elon and large rockets. I had fun with that in a previous post here, Elon Musk is Rocketman.
Humans are creatures of commerce. Even during the survival stage, they will barter for wants and needs. A drive to leverage one’s self, to better one’s environment and surroundings would seem to be an innate characteristic among our kind. A means of commerce, ie, money, facilitates the process.
Money is itself nothing more than a medium of exchange, a means to transfer value. Throughout history, money has equated to food, rocks, shells, minerals, and gold among others. Gold has been the currency of choice from early on. The Gold Standard.
The problem with asset-backed money is you have to store the asset someplace. Not everything is easy to store, and some things are perishable. A limited shelf life means use it or lose it.
And the thing is, an item’s inherent worth is only derived by consensus. Basically, we agree that the shiny yellow rocks have value. The same is true for the pieces of paper with dead guy’s faces on them we call dollars. They only have value because everyone using them agrees.
And what happens to gold when we start mining the asteroid belt? How about that golden asteroid? There’s a fun scenario to play out *plot bunny*…
The dollar’s value is like the emperor’s new clothes. It hasn’t been backed by gold since 1971. The whole thing gets even scarier when you look at how the US government will simply print more money to solve financial problems. I’m no economist, but even I have to raise an eyebrow at the apparent flimsiness of our house of cards. You can’t create something from nothing. At least not forever. Eventually, the truth will out. The market crash of 2008 revealed the weaknesses in our auditing systems and the astonishing corruptness of our financial sectors.
Cryptocurrencies emergence comes at an interesting time. Unless by design, there is no asset tied to its worth (same is true for the USD), it has a finite supply (not true for USD) and it has a truly sublime level of transparency. Different cryptos play by different rules, of course, but this simple structure has the potential to solve a lot of our financial problems. This may be good for the average person, but not for those who control the existing ‘keys to the kingdom.’
It’s been an interesting transition watching the big boys of our financial world go from “cryptos are useless” to “the blockchain has potential” to virtually all large companies now diving headlong into the world of cryptocurrencies.
They had no choice. The genie was out of the bottle, now the battle is for those in power to figure out how to leverage and control the new kid on the block.
There are a lot of similarities between the internet and crypto/blockchain evolution. Both are massively disruptive with tremendous potential. Ultimately, the internet has done several things it promised. Information is largely free and available around the world. Trying to cordon off entire populations is becoming more and more difficult (hello China). And there are free courses available from the best universities in existence. All this because of the internet. Many saw the transition as one of regret. It didn’t live up to its potential. The Googles and Microsofts ruled the direction of the internet from early on, but structure in the name of progress isn’t all bad. Overall the internet is a net gain.
I can see the same potential for cryptocurrencies. Yes, there will be those with extreme advantages, but I hope the ability for transparency will make it a net win.
How does this play out offworld? Brilliantly in my opinion. A number of key advantages: a finite supply to guarantee value, no need for asset storage, and total visibility of transactions.
The ability to control one’s personal data can be built in from day one. That is a thing of beauty.
Facebook and Google own our digital lives, but we can have a clean slate offworld and there are many working to bring that dream alive. From Musk to Bezos to Branson the private sector has leapfrogged the government in reusable and efficient rocket design.
Many have their sites set on the Moon and many on Mars. They’re both good for me.
Two organizations in particular I have the pleasure of being involved with are a match made in space: The Mars Society and Marscoin. Both organizations are led by dreamers and doers. Men and women who see a future with humans among the stars. We’ll get there, one step at a time.
The Mars Society, a collection of ten thousand space enthusiasts from over forty countries, was created by Dr. Robert Zubrin. You can watch him give a talk on Why Mars here.
The Society is extremely active. Their next annual convention is Oct 17-20, 2019.
Their director of IT, James Burk, and his team of volunteers have just launched a shiny new website. The Mars Society.
Since 2001 they have been building out the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah. So very cool and you can sign up to be a part of it!
They host various contests on designing vehicles and habitats for life on mars, and collaborate on research papers. They have an active volunteer ecosystem and you’re welcome to join!
Marscoin, a cryptocurrency based on Bitcoin, was created with Mars in mind from day one. The brain child of Lennart Lopin, it’s been a passion project from the start. Lennart is a true believer in the necessity of colonizing Mars and beyond. #DecentralizeHumanity
“With your help – by adopting/utilizing/trading/donating Marscoin – we will be able to help fund mankind’s first colony on Mars simply by kickstarting the financial system of the future Martian colony. An increased value of Marscoin will mean increased financial means for these organizations.
All it will take is one colonist with a USB drive to transfer the entire Marscoin Blockchain to Mars. As an early adopter, you will be a part of this history. Our whitepaper goes into further depth on the need for and execution of Mars’ own economic bedrock, the Marscoin Blockchain.”
You can find out about the people and project behind Marscoin here: Marscoin Foundation.
For more on the cryptocurrency go to Marscoin.org
Mars Society and Marscoin are the perfect match. I’ve had the great fortune to work with Lennart and James and hope to continue doing so for years to come. I encourage you to take a few minutes and explore these two companies and their innovations.
The world is watching the dawn of a new day and it’s about damn time!
Are you a space exploration fan or professional? If so, I’d love to talk. I’ll be traveling extensively over the coming months, with a heavy concentration on Spain and Portugal when outside the US.
Sabine is a space exploration enthusiast, electrical engineer, cultural anthropologist and science fiction romance author. A newly minted nomad, join her as she travels the world in search of magic and adventure. www.sabinepriestley.com
Unless otherwise noted, all photos purchased for use from www.depositephotos.com