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Can BitMEX and Bitcoin beat Elon Musk and Dogecoin to the first crypto asset sent into lunar orbit?
Elon Musk and BitMEX appear to be in the midst of a 21st-century space race, with each promising to send their respective cryptocurrencies to the literal moon first.
On June 4, the popular crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX announced it would be supporting space robotics firm, Astrobotic Technology, in the company’s mission to send its first commercial lander to the moon during Q4 2020.
Noting that the mission seeks to be the first time “a private company leading a coalition of government, academia, industry, and international partners reaches the lunar surface,” BitMEX intends to commemorate the milestone by sending a one-of-a-kind physical Bitcoin to the moon’s surface. BitMEX added, referring to Musk as a “Dogecoin protagonist”:
“We’ve nothing against Dog Money, we felt it was only right to help Bitcoin get there first.”
Elon Musk said in early May that SpaceX plans to launch a Dogecoin-funded payload on one of its first rockets to the moon, claiming that DOGE would be the first cryptocurrency to reach lunar orbit next year.
Elon Musk responded to BitMEX’s newfound astronomic ambitions on Twitter, proclaiming: “A new space race has begun!”
While most of Elon’s fans backed DOGE to win the crypto space race, some pointed out that there are more serious issues on Earth than whether one’s crypto token of choice is the first to enter the orbit of another celestial body.
Can we take care of the problems here on Earth before we thrust ourselves into space, while homeless people sleep in the streets and the middle class struggles to get by?
Wtf is wrong with you? Look around
— Dougzart (@Dougzart1) June 6, 2021
While few initiatives have captivated the media interest as much as Musk’s Dogecoin expedition, the Tesla CEO’s intentions to transport cryptocurrency out of this planet are not the first.
Blockstream looks to have been the first to employ crypto satellites, deploying satellites in August 2017 to broadcast Bitcoin transactions from space.
Robonomics and Kusama revealed an ambitious proposal in August 2020 to construct “an interplanetary architecture” capable of transferring data between Mars and Earth via the Kusama network.
In a November 2017 whitepaper, CryptoSat revealed the premise behind its ambitious ambition to launch a nano-satellite the size of a coffee cup into space, with the satellite expected to operate as an independent cryptography module from orbit. The company intends to test the concept with a launch this year before launching a whole constellation of CryptoSats later in the year.
Spacechain similarly launched in 2017, and has successfully deployed nodes in orbit. On June 3, 2021, the project announced its multisig Ethereum payload destined for installation on the International Space Station had been launched aboard a SpaceX rocket.