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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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald