Industry News Cryptocurrencies and the Space Economy

Cryptocurrencies and the Space Economy

September 21, 2021

Far above, beyond the blue sky of the day and the climate system of Earth, is a field of growing economic activity. That field is space or more precisely the orbital transport industry and its surrounding businesses. Ever since the Sputnik satellite made the same part of the Earth’s gravitational well into an accessible location for human machines and then humans themselves, the orbit of the planet has been slowly populated by Earth-made things and beings. Presently, at any given moment, there are a few human beings living far beyond the clouds. There are thousands of more machines, like telecommunication satellites or military objects with unclear or secret purposes. Each year, there are more of these and the same numbers are bound to grow.

Presently, that process seems bound to get even faster, especially in the light of the latest SpaceX mission called Inspiration4, which launched a ground of space tourists in the higher orbit, without any of them being actual astronauts. With their position at 360 miles above Earth, the economy of the planet is also getting some unexpected opportunities. Among them is the cryptocurrency industry, which stands to take in substantial profits and users through the expansion of the orbital transport industry in the coming decades. That connection between businesses might not be that clear and steady, but there is definitely a tether that is bounding these together. This bond is both practical and symbolic, which makes it something that will, for good or bad, last well into the future and the subsequent development of both industries.

Growing Field of Business

As mentioned the space began to be populated by a range of craft more than 60 years ago. However, for most of that period, the governments of the world, especially the superpowers like the US, China, and Russia, had a monopoly on the same process. Later on, the same began to change with the entrance of many additional countries, including smaller ones. Soon, even nations like Bangladesh, Poland, and Argentina had their own space programs. But, the game changer began when the space economy got its first private companies that had the same licensing and regulatory framework as their national counterparts. This means that whatever the governments were able to do, the private companies could do as well, including sending human missions.

Of course, that process was also limited by the abilities and practical capabilities of the said companies. Still, names like SpaceX began building a name for themselves in this growing business field. Thanks to that, the tables have slowly completely turned in many places. With that in mind, the US no longer flies their own national NASA missions to resupply the ISS for example. Instead, SpaceX does it for the government and thus it is building its own independent capacity and capability for things like the Inspiration4 mission. The moment where crypto comes into play is clear – it too comes with an embedded ability to disrupt the previous government-run status quo.

Mirroring Potential for Disruption

As the economy of the private space industry grows, so does the appeal of other businesses, especially those who are no strangers to esports, cutting edge tech hardware, the IT infrastructure, and many more similar fields, to join in. Crypto moguls are just some of the most prominent individuals who are both leaders of their industries and very open to potential investments in the orbital transport business. Here as well, they can expect the exclusion of big government entities that define the shape of a business domain. Instead, the private entities very much define their future in collaboration with governments but not under their direct management.

At the same time, the industry leaders are embedding themselves into a market that is bound to grow in both cases. With cryptocurrencies, that space is one of the global financial systems. In the case of orbital transport, the field is the global ability to reach the atmosphere for business or leisure purposes. So, there is a factor of disruption that people involved with these industries very much appreciate and even seek out for their businesses.

Means of Interaction

While there is clearly a lot of space for mutual support and appreciation, the question of how these industries actually interact one with another remains valid. In the present distribution of resources and services each of these has access to, there are three main ways of connecting the two fields of industry. The first one includes the ability of crypto to fund novel space transport and exploration programs, as well as the companies that run them. SpaceX is already actively working on this, with Elon Musk offering things like dogecoin payments for funding of future missions from this company.

The second option for business dealings includes a connection in the other direction – one where the space industry would help the development of crypto infrastructure that is space-based. For example, sending and positioning satellites that can provide access to the bitcoin network for any part of the world without having the need to have regular internet. Finally, the last option might seem like science fiction, but it is becoming one less and less with each day. That includes the ability of crypto to become the currency of the future habitats that are not on planet Earth. Instead of using a multitude of government fiat currencies from their home countries, space travelers and even future settlers could employ crypto for their needs.

Growing Business

The options for collaboration are ripe but most of them are still set in the future both for the space industry, but also for crypto companies. Yet, what is the present is the value of the same field right now. The space industry and its private sector is presently worth some 350 billion USD and is a growing market. There are currently some 400 space companies working in the world and their plans are getting bolder and bolder. In the coming decade, for example, the first mission of trying to recover a small asteroid and bring it to Earth’s atmosphere will take place. Before it, private satellites and probes are going to the Moon and beyond. With this level of growth, there is no doubt that crypto and space will find numerous ways, along with the first three core ones, to collaborate and expand together.

Source: Coindesk