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article imagePaypal looks to the future with Paypal Galactic

By Abigail Prendergast     Jun 27, 2013 in Technology
Paypal is already known as one of the most popular methods of making financial transactions online across the globe. Now, along with the SETI Institute, the company has decided to take a huge step forward with Paypal Galactic - a space currency.
Many big-name financial brands are known worldwide; companies like Visa, Mastercard, and of course, Paypal have become synonymous in most money-related trades around the globe.
The latter-most industry, which is pretty much the standard for online financial transactions, is moving the bar even higher with its "bold new initiative": a currency used in space known as Paypal Galactic.
According to PC Magazine, most high-end and successful firms are made up of people who are inspired by classic works of science fiction. Even so, Paypal's latest endeavor has come as something of a surprise, the site reports.
Apparently, the company is setting its sight on attempting to "future-proof" its capability of paperless financial transactions worldwide, thus securing itself a place in the potentially soon-to-be-real space tourism industry.
"As space tourism programs are opening space travel to 'the rest of us' this drives questions about the commercialization of space," David Marcus, President of Paypal, said in a statement. "We are launching PayPal Galactic, in conjunction with leaders in the scientific community, to increase public awareness of the important questions that need to be addressed."
Of course, Paypal was not in this endeavor alone, who teamed up with the SETI Institute in order to help make the initiative more popular, and address any potential issues regarding the space tourism industry, including "the future of currency in a cash-free, interplanetary society."
"PayPal envisions exploring possibilities in space the way that we do, breaking boundaries to make real progress," said Jill Tarter of SETI. "When the SETI Institute succeeds in its exploration of the universe, and as we find our place among the stars, PayPal will be there to facilitate commerce, so people can get what they need, and want, to live outside of our planet."
Although it may seem a little bit too early to consider an initiative such as a space currency program, there are some very popular experts backing up the project. Paypal even quoted a comment from Buzz Aldrin mentioning: "Trips to Mars, the moon, even orbit will require we provide astronauts and astro-tourists with as many comforts from home as possible, including how to pay each other… When that happens I won't be surprised if people use PayPal Galactic for the little things and the big ones."
Even with some of the most renowned minds in space exploration and science supporting the program, it has also been perceived as "too fanciful." The presentation had included a list of currencies used in existing science fiction films and TV shows, such as Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and Star Wars.
Despite any skepticism, the launch of Paypal Galactic looks to have itself within the scope of reality, at least as far as those behind it are concerned. Marcus had even appeared in a promotional video that announced the launch, along with members of SETI and the Silicon Valley Space Center.
"We may not answer these questions today or even this year, but one thing is clear, we won't be using cash in space," Marcus said. "PayPal has already pushed payments into the Internet, onto phones and across terrestrial borders. We look forward to pushing payments from our world to the next, and beyond."
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