Space! The final frontier! We’re all so dang excited about going to Mars and stuff that it appears no one has thought about how we’ll be able to buy our stylish space suits and freeze-dried ice cream in the orbiting malls of the future. PayPal is on it, teaming up with the SETI Institute “to help make universal space payments a reality.”
The PayPal Galactic project is ready to tackle the problem of outerspace commerce, reports NPR, to pay for things like the first space hotel, which is supposed to open in the next few years.
“Space tourism is opening up to all of us in the next decade or so, and we want to make sure that PayPal is the preferred way to pay from space and in space,” PayPal President David Marcus says.
The project will take things into consideration like how banks will have to change once people are making transactions in space (“Excuse me sir, fraud department here: Did you spend $2,325 at a place called ‘Sexx Galaxxy?’ on Venus? “) as well as which regulations commercial entities will have to conform with.
“PayPal envisions exploring possibilities in space the way that we do, breaking boundaries to make real progress,” says SETI astronomer Jill Tarter. “When the SETI Institute succeeds in its exploration of the universe, and as we find our place among the stars, PayPal will be there to facilitate commerce, so people can get what they need, and want, to live outside of our planet.”
It’s not just about electronic payments to buy whatever space tourists or astronauts on duty will need. The project is also brainstorming what currency will look like “in a truly cash-free interplanetary society.”
Personally I’m partial to Battlestar Galactica‘s cubits but I’m willing to explore other options. Or some kind of coins with Ryan Gosling’s face on them. Impress me, PayPal.