May 29, 2024
Bitcoin on Mars: Elon Musk's Evolving Stance From Skepticism to Contemplation
Bitcoin News

Bitcoin on Mars: Elon Musk’s Evolving Stance From Skepticism to Contemplation

In a Space on X (formerly Twitter) conversation with ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood titled “ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF (ARKB) Approved,” Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder Elon Musk revisited the idea of using Bitcoin as currency on Mars, indicating a slight shift in his perspective.

Initially resistant to the concept due to the extended transaction settlement times associated with Bitcoin, Musk acknowledged the challenges of using the cryptocurrency on Mars, given its distance from Earth. He mentioned, “It would make sense to use some kind of cryptocurrency on Mars; you couldn’t use Bitcoin because the reconciliation is too long.” Musk has been consistently advocating for the establishment of a human colony on Mars by 2050, asserting the necessity for humanity to become a multiplanet species for survival.

After some verbal brainstorming during the Space on X session, Musk cautiously entertained the possibility of using Bitcoin on Mars, acknowledging the potential need for a localized network on the planet due to the significant communication delay. Musk stated, “Mars can be like twenty light minutes away. So, it is not easy, there would have to be a localized thing on Mars.”

Responding to Bitcoin core developer Matt Corallo’s concern about the cryptocurrency’s slow transaction speed, Musk hinted at the potential solution through a localized Lightning Network. Bitcoin’s current transaction settlement time is hindered by its blockchain assembling transactions into 10-minute blocks, requiring six blocks for final confirmation, resulting in up to one hour for the process to complete.

While Musk expressed reservations, Blockstream CEO Adam Back expressed optimism, noting that the 12-22 light-minute communication delay poses no problem with Bitcoin’s current 10-minute block structure. Back highlighted that the Lightning Network, even without localization, could address the challenges.

In April 2023, data from Glassnode revealed that the Bitcoin Lightning Network is significantly more cost-effective than traditional payment processors. The cost of sending value across the Lightning Network was reported to be 0.0029%, approximately 1,000 times cheaper than Mastercard or Visa payment processors.

Speculation arises about the potential integration of cryptocurrencies into Musk’s platform, X (formerly Twitter), which he plans to transform into an “everything app.” Reports from January 2023 suggested that X’s payment feature could accommodate cryptocurrencies if the opportunity arises. However, on August 5, 2023, Musk definitively responded to a user on X, stating that he “never will” launch a crypto token on the platform. As Musk’s ambitious plans for Martian colonization continue, the role of cryptocurrencies in extraterrestrial economies remains a topic of intrigue and discussion within the space and tech communities.


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