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article imageOp-Ed: Future commerce - Cryptocurrencies in space

By Paul Wallis     Feb 25, 2019 in Technology
Sydney - OK, you’re a few light years from Earth, and you want to get paid. Transactions can theoretically take years to complete. How do you fix it? With cryptocurrencies, of course.
The cryptocurrency idea is called a Digital Universal Currency (DUC), and the intention is to solve the issues of distance, while maintaining strong transparency and an audit trail. It’s a good solution to an obvious problem, given that cryptocurrencies can be also used for conversion to local currencies with ease.
How and when?
How is pretty simple, given that all the technologies required already exist. A single stream digital currency makes a lot of sense, given the fractured and sometimes downright crazy nature of modern commerce. To simplify is to increase transparency, reduce fraud, and manage things better, at least in theory.
When may be sooner than expected. The entry of private capital in to space adds some momentum to the process. Any kind of currency in space has to be very functional, easy to use, manage and distribute to support space commerce. There’s no reason to believe that conventional systems can manage the likely mix of people, nations, and currency needs in space away from Earth. They’re cumbersome and too expensive to operate, for a couple of straightforward basic reasons.
You can ignore the usual “That’s centuries from now” babble. A good working international currency would be a good option for everyone on Earth, let alone in space. Bitcoin tried and failed to achieve that result, but with proper backing, an easy exchange system could solve a lot of basic problems.
A couple of likely scenarios
The most probable option is that capital is transmitted in to space, with automatic scheduled DUC credits on payday. Regardless of the time to transmit, that capital is made available at the other end, to avoid delays. This is basic bookkeeping, no problem for anyone, and much more efficient than a “real time” transaction which could take years.
The other likely scenario is opposition to the whole idea. It should be noted that not everyone favours a universal currency, or believes it can work. There are issues like paying taxes in a volatile currency like Bitcoin, for example, which could be tricky. A single value, more stable digital currency could overcome that hurdle, but let’s not assume that something simple and efficient gets instant traction in the mystic realms of global finance. You can expect E Pluribus Bitching Session at some point in the process.
Who knows? Add a Universal Basic Income in cryptocurrency, and you might even have something which can eliminate poverty, and financial bureaucracy, on Earth.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about cryptoccurrency iin space, Digital Universal Currency, Space commerce, Bitocin
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