With an increasing interest in space tourism, the virtual payment program seeks to address potential monetary issues.
In the next five years, space is going to be the tourist destination, where people go to see and be seen. With flights on Virgin Galactic selling for$200,000 a ticket and talks of an orbiting space hotel by 2016, Outer Space is the place to be. But it is not obvious how tourists will do what they do best when they get there — spend money. The issue of currency or any monetary system has yet to be figured out and so PayPal has launched Paypal Galactic to do just that. The e-commerce business is collaborating with SETI Institute and the Space Tourism Society, to determine how money will work out in the cosmos.
PayPal Galactic is not a service you can use right now if you’re planning a trip to space, rather it is an initiative amongst leaders in the space industry to discuss a range of topic about space commerce. From what monetary currency will be used to how banks, regulations and risk management systems might have to adapt, the Galactic Initiave is looking for solutions now, so when space travel is the norm, issues don’t arise. PayPal’s President David Marcus commented:
As space tourism programs are opening space travel to ‘the rest of us’ this drives questions about the commercialization of space. We may not answer these questions today or even this year, but one thing is clear, we won’t be using cash in space.
With space tourism taking off, and predicted to be a $1 billion industry within the next ten years, PayPal has perfectly timed their initiative to be the frontrunner in managing people’s cosmic currency needs.