In the wake of Elon Musk plugging Dogecoin on Saturday Night Live, Geometric Energy Corporation has announced that it has paid SpaceX to launch the “DOGE-1” mission entirely in Dogecoin. DOGE-1 will send a 40-kilogram CubeSat into lunar orbit as part of SpaceX’s ride share program.
DOGE-1 operations will include a lunar-spatial survey with sensors and cameras on the CubeSat, which also includes integrated communications and computational capabilities. Geometric Energy Corporation plugged the ability of cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin to work around limitations in the banking industry in a statement released earlier today.
“This mission will demonstrate the application of cryptocurrency beyond Earth orbit and set the foundation for interplanetary commerce,” said SpaceX Vice President of Commercial Sales Tom Ochinero.
Cryptocurrency insiders have long recognized its ability to include those who do not have an easy time accessing “traditional” financial services, even though regulators have crimped their style lately. The prominent cryptocurrency payment processor BitPay, for instance, has been criticized for its clumsy handling of KYC requirements when people really want to pay with cryptocurrency as seamlessly as they can pay with a credit or debit card. Some supporters of cryptocurrency have recommended that online sellers switch to a payment processor that won’t hold their funds for them.
Proposed cryptocurrency-related operations in space date back to Jeff Garzik’s 2014 effort to launch satellites that could have transmitted the Bitcoin blockchain into Earth orbit. The satellites dubbed “BitSats” would have served as a backup for a potential meltdown in the Internet-based infrastructure that supports Bitcoin.
Some insiders have also suggested that Bitcoin was originally meant to be a prototype for a system that could function even in places where traditional financial infrastructure wouldn’t, including on the Moon and Mars. It may have reminded some people of Star Trek’s “Credits,” which did not seem to rely on physical currency and could transfer value with a little typed input and a thumbprint on an electronic pad. Books like “Blockchain Space: How and Why Cryptocurrencies Fit Into the Space Age” describe how advanced forms of cryptocurrencies could be adapted to be suitable for interplanetary commerce – with, of course, suitable advances in technology.
More immediately, the DOGE-1 mission seems intent on promoting the often-repeated phrase in cryptocurrency circles, “To the Moon”. Some cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Dogecoin have been hitting all-time highs in price. Elon Musk has especially been plugging Dogecoin lately, including an offhand mention that he has set up a Dogecoin miner for his youngest son. Although the price of Dogecoin took a nosedive during his SNL appearance, its investors anticipate that it will recover once SNL fans dive more into the cryptocurrency that was inspired by an online meme.
Missions like DOGE-1 certainly won’t hurt matters, as it shows that some cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin are suitable for more than just an investment vehicle. This may be important to some OG Bitcoiners who have moved over to alternatives like DASH and Bitcoin Cash due to disagreements over regulations and technical aspects that may make Bitcoin unusable to its original target audience. These individuals say that cryptocurrency should be usable to anyone, regardless of whether they want to launch a satellite, buy a Tesla, or just get a pair of alpaca wool socks. Besides Elon Musk raising awareness that alternatives like Dogecoin exist on shows like SNL, Geometric Energy Corporation may hope to raise awareness that previously minor and jocular cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin can be used to literally send things to the Moon.