News  •  Technology News  •  Technology

Blockchains in space?

According to one research paper published by an Indian government official, the idea isn’t so far-fetched.

Dr Kartik Hegadekatti of India’s Ministry of Railways posits in a new paper, entitled “Extra-Terrestrial Applications of blockchains and Cryptocurrencies”, that the tech could provide the basis for a space-based money in lieu of paper money or physical coins. Hegadekatti works for the ministry's Commercial Department.

Hegadekatti has written about cryptocurrencies in the past, exploring how a ‘NationCoin’ could be issued by a country in a paper from August. The paper's timing is notable, given India's controversial push away from paper currency and a rise in bitcoin purchase activity in the country.

Though the concept sounds a bit far-fetched and entirely speculative – humans have only set foot on the Moon a handful of times, and to date no manned mission has been launched to Mars – Hegadekatti argues that launching paper or coin-based monies into space is impractical given their cost and weight.

According to Hegadekatti, each planet or moon-based colony in the solar system could, in theory, have their own blockchains, synced together.

He wrote:

"By the time man has setup a full-fledged colony on Mars and moved beyond the Kuiper (asteroid) belt, the extra-terrestrial 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."

Even cryptocurrency mining – the process by which new transactions are added to the blockchain – could be performed in space.

"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 Extra-Terrestrial transactions," he wrote, concluding:

"Thus, machines launched into outer space will automatically add value to the world economy."

Image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at [email protected].

IndiaMars

Load Comments