ConsenSys, the Ethereum-focused blockchain organization, has recently acquired the Planetary Resources asteroid mining company. Planetary Resources was founded in 2012, and the terms of the deal were not disclosed.
What is Planetary Resources?
Planetary Resources are hoping to mine some of the 16,000 asteroids near earth and are currently investigating methods to launch into outer space. The company has already launched a pair of satellites into space, including a successful test of an infrared imager on its Arkyd six craft. Speaking on the acquisition, Planetary Resources CEO Chris Lewicki indicated that –
“I am proud of our team’s extraordinary accomplishments, grateful to our visionary supporters, and delighted to join ConsenSys in building atop our work to expand humanity’s economic sphere of influence into the Solar System.”
The asteroid mining sector is phenomenal regarding its monetary value, and the most valuable accessible asteroid currently standing at 27 Quintillion US Dollars. The technology to successfully mine such asteroids is not yet developed, but many companies are in the process of doing so. It is hoped that DLT (and Ethereum in particular) can help to facilitate a new paradigm in space exploration. As per ConsenSys founder, Joe Lubin –
“Bringing deep space capabilities into the ConsenSys ecosystem reflects our belief in the potential for Ethereum to help humanity craft new societal rule systems through automated trust and guaranteed execution. And it reflects our belief in democratizing and decentralizing space endeavors to unite our species and unlock untapped human potential.”
A venture too far by ConsenSys?
Many have been critical of the acquisition, questioning what possible incentives a blockchain organization could have in the acquisition of an asteroid mining company. Additionally, this does not seem like a particularly successful startup, with reports of financial difficulties according to Geekwire.
However, there is significant evidence to suggest that space exploration and blockchain will soon merge, with the option of truly decentralized and democratized space exploration. In tandem with developments in artificial intelligence, blockchain can give the public open access to outer space. It is very important that decentralized agencies start to take the initiative over important matters such as space exploration and renewable energy. If these decisions are left to corporations and governments, then the public will be at a severe disadvantage. Speaking on the matter, General Counsel of Planetary Resources Brian Israel stated that –
“Ethereum smart contract functionality is a natural solution for private-ordering and commerce in space—the only domain of human activity not ordered around territorial sovereignty—in which a diverse range of actors from a growing number of countries must coordinate and transact.”
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