Bitcoin hitches a ride on a rocket to the moon

Peregrine 1, the first commercial launch from United Launch Alliance, includes some bitcoin and commemorates the genesis block

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BitMEX modified by Blockworks

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The Peregrine 1 spacecraft took off early Monday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying 20 payloads, including one called the “Bitcoin Genesis Plate.”

Also included, a private key engraved on a 43 gram physical coin with a public vanity address — 1MoonBTCixFH3XTrWRCbMpK23o74nQrA1Q — is pitched as “the first-ever financial asset sent to the Moon.”

A partnership between derivatives exchange BitMEX, robotics firm Astrobotic Technology, Bitcoin Magazine, and Oxcart Assembly, the bitcoin wallet is loaded with 1 bitcoin (BTC).

Bitcoin could be seen launching higher in Monday trading at just above $45,000 as of 8:30 am ET. 

The Bitcoin Magazine Genesis Plate, includes a copy of the Genesis Block the first block of bitcoin ever to be mined, just over 15 years ago.

Read more: Bitcoin’s ‘genesis’ block of transaction was created 15 years ago

The Vulcan rocket took off at approximately 2:18 am ET, after a years-long development process, loaded with international payloads from 7 countries in what is expected to be the first commercial landing on the moon.

A 7-week cruise phase puts the spacecraft on a course for lunar landing on Friday, Feb. 23.

Flight path of Peregrine 1 | Source: BitMEX / Astrobiotic

The mission is not the first to attempt a commercial moon landing. In April 2019, Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft, developed by SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries, crashed during its landing attempt.

Last year Social Intelligence company LunarCrush announced it would be sending a treasure chest of 62 bitcoins to the moon in a similar stunt by the end of 2023, however, as of December, no launch date had been set.

Peregrine 1’s cargo is symbolic of Bitcoiner’s aspirations of “of creating a monetary system for a space economy” according to Stephan Lutz, CEO at BitMEX.

“Bitcoin on the Moon is a time capsule that captures one of the most significant human innovations and technological advancements,” he said in a statement.

“BitMEX invites the crypto community and future generations to interact with the physical coin, whether on Earth or in space, enabling individuals to send personal messages and their own satoshis to the Moon,” the company said. 

It’s a fun gimmick, but absent a moon-based Bitcoin full node connected to the internet, such interaction is technically still very much a terrestrial affair.


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