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PayPal’s questfor intergalactic currency launched

world Updated: Jun 28, 2013 01:06 IST
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PayPal late on Wednesday launched a quest for an intergalactic currency, saying it is time to figure out what space travelers will use as cash.

“The time has now come for us to start planning for the future; a future where we aren’t just talking about global payments,” said PayPal president David Marcus. “We are expanding our vision off earth into space.”

PayPal Galactic Initiative will be formally unveiled Thursday at the SETI Institute campus in the Silicon Valley city of Mountain View, with attendees to include famed alien seeker Jill Tarter and former US astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

The initiative, headed by PayPal, aims to bring together parties with roles to play in the commercialization of space to explore a framework for a financial system that spans galaxies.

“From ‘Star Trek’ to ‘Battlestar Galactica,’ they all have currency and they all gloss over the fact that it works,” PayPalsenior director of communications Anuj Nayar said, referring to hit science fiction films and television shows.

“We are at that point now where it seems a natural time for scientists, governments, and everybody else to start taking this seriously.” Astronauts living in the International Space Station still have bills to pay, even if they are just buying digital books or music for whiling away time in orbit, Marcus reasoned.

A Space Hotel is proposed to be circling the planet in about three years, raising the prospect of porters to tip .

“As we start planning to inhabit other planets, the practical realities of life still need to be addressed,” Marcus said. “At first you laugh it off and think it crazy,” Ferguson said. “But space exploration and the thought of commercializing space are much closer than a lot of people would think.”