On Thursday (June 27) PayPal announced a new initiative that will research possible protocols for off-world currency transactions. With space tourism opportunities around the corner, it's not so farfetched an idea.
On Thursday (June 27), PayPal announced the creation of a new initiative, PayPal Galactic, in which it will partner with the SETI Institute to come up with ways to handle monetary transactions that take place in space and on other planets. PayPal president David Marcus says the project is the next evolutionary step in paperless digital currency: “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.”
What’s the Big Idea?
It may seem a bit premature to be thinking about how people will pay for drinks on the trip to Mars, but PayPal Galactic is looking at the near future as well. Space tourism is expected to grow significantly in the next few years, and such trips, said former astronaut Buzz Aldrin in a statement, “will require we provide [travelers] with as many comforts from home as possible, including how to pay each other.” The initiative is taking clues from science fiction as well: Its presentation included a document that described the currency systems used by characters in “Star Trek” and “Battlestar Galactica,” among other popular series.