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‘Blockchain in Space’ Paper Shoots for the Stars

A new research paper into the future of blockchain technology has suggested cryptocurrency could be useful in space exploration and colonization.

While the premise sounds far-fetched, the research paper from the Indian government suggests the idea might not prove too out of this world.

Researcher Dr. Kartik Hegadekatti published his findings in his paper titled ‘Extra-Terrestrial Applications of Blockchains and Cryptocurrencies’, which suggest a series of potential space-age applications for the blockchain.

In particular, his research suggested that blockchain technology would reduce the impracticalities associated with using paper money in space, not least the transportation costs and practical challenges posed by intergalactic commerce.

According to the research, multiple blockchains could be used across different planets or different space colonies, as a future mechanism for allowing for transactions between colonies.

"By the time man has set up a full-fledged colony on Mars and moved beyond the Kuiper belt, the extraterrestrial economies can be linked by an intricate network of controlled blockchains. There can be a MarsCoin, on a Martian blockchain, LunarCoin, JupiterCoin, SaturnCoin, TitanCoin, and so on, on their respective controlled blockchains."

It is also argued that cryptocurrency mining could be conducted in space in future, with added benefits to the world economy.

“Powerful microprocessors embedded in objects flown to (or created on) Mars can do 'smart mining' and provide the basis for a money exchange system. Machines containing embedded chips will 'smart mine' cryptocurrencies which can be used for extraterrestrial transactions”

The research into space-age applications could strengthen the case for greater adoption on Earth. At a more down-to-earth level, Hegadekatti is a fan of replacing currency locally with a paper-based equivalent cryptocurrency, which makes use of the blockchain for effecting transfers and transactions.

These findings are arguably more immediately relevant, given the Indian government’s recent withdrawal of some banknotes from circulation. Some analysts have suggested India could be among the first countries in the world to shift entirely to a digital currency infrastructure.