Jason Del Rey

Recent Posts by Jason Del Rey

With PayPal Galactic, PayPal Wants to Know How You’ll Pay for Your Room at Hotel Mars

For the most part, commercial space travel is still a few years off, and any plans for space settlements still seem like the dreams of sci-fi enthusiasts.

But it’s never too early to start planning, right?


Elon Musk sure thinks so. And PayPal apparently does, too. Or at least the eBay-owned company is pretending it does, if you think the following is a big marketing gimmick.

PayPal was set to announce on Thursday that it is spearheading an initiative, dubbed PayPal Galactic, to lead a discussion around what needs to happen to commercialize other planets. How will banks need to adapt? What payment systems can work in space and between space and Earth? And when on Mars, do you tip like a New Yorker or like a European? (Okay, that last question is mine.)

Clearly, PayPal is positioning itself as the payment system capable of working on Earth, on other planets, and in space. And it’s bringing together some space bigwigs to kick off the conversation, by partnering with the SETI Institute on the initiative. Buzz Aldrin was expected to make an appearance Thursday morning at the launch event, as well.

So the company has obviously convinced some in the space community that this is a serious endeavor. What about you?

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work