First, people came up with the idea of seasteading in order to challenge laws of jurisdiction and protect themselves and their property from government. Now a group of developers has come up with a similar idea, but in space, and for cryptocurrencies—a plan called Space Vault.
The founders of SpaceBit, the first decentralized space company, plan to put the vault where no government can claim to own it. They want to enable people to be able to store their private keys beyond state bounds, where crypto wallets will be protected from the prying eyes and hands of those who believe that they have special rights of ownership.
The program is co-founded by Ian Angell, Emeritus Professor at the London School of Economics, who has been talking about the future of money since 1998. If you watch the following video, it sounds incredibly familiar at times, as if he could be talking about Bitcoin—a voluntary currency created by private individuals, a digital money made up of “binary bits”—a full decade before Bitcoin’s creation.
Angell describes what we are now experiencing: technology that enables local exchanges of money to become global exchanges of money. “What constitutes money,” he predicts, “will no longer be monopolized by national governments.” He quotes 20th-century economist Friedrich Hayek:
“Money does not have to be created legal tender by governments. Like law, language and morals it can emerge spontaneously. Such private money has often been preferred to government money, but government has usually soon suppressed it.”
“In the Information Age,” Angell asks, “in the age of Internet, can government keep suppressing it? Hayek’s vision of the Denationalisation of Money can now become a reality.”
Today it is. It’s possible to travel with a smartphone that provides easy access to a medium of crypto exchange that is increasingly accepted by people and businesses around the world. The hassle of exchanging one tax-farm currency for another every time we cross an imaginary, arbitrary border becomes less and less of an issue. Says Angell:
“The term ‘Capital Flight’ will take on a whole new meaning. The worldwide government conspiracy over the issuing of money will finally be smashed. ... The ‘control freaks’ of government will have finally lost.”
But “why be restricted to the globe?” he asks. “Why not go off-planet? A satellite can act as a depository for digital cash.”
The Space Vault is just one of the projects that he, SpaceBit’s co-founder, Pavlo Tanasyuk, and the rest of their team have planned. They’ve been involved in some major satellite projects, and in the future, they want to perform 3D printing in space and mine asteroids, while tracking those that pose a potential threat to Earth—all funded in part by the creation of their own crypto token. Their overall goal is to “make private space exploration easier, more affordable, and profitable for smaller enterprises.”
SpaceBit could become the first decentralized company to literally shoot for the moon.
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