The rise of the cryptocurrency dogecoin has reached a new level after the token was used to pay for a lunar satellite launch.
SpaceX, Elon Musk’s commercial rocket firm, is to embark on a moon voyage next year carrying a so-called cubesat — a mini-satellite used for space research — from Geometric Energy Corp that has been paid for entirely in dogecoin.
The development is the latest twist in the saga over the digital token, which started as a joke in 2013, but is now a dominating Internet meme and sitting on a 21,000 percent rally in the past year.
Musk has been a key player in the drama, boosting the price with a succession of Twitter messages in the past few months.
The so-called “DOGE-1 Mission to the Moon” is the first commercial lunar payload in history paid for entirely with dogecoin, Geometric said in a statement.
The 40kg cubesat is to launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The company did not specify the amount of dogecoin involved in the transaction with SpaceX.
Geometric’s Web site describes the firm as a private Canadian company originally founded to invent renewable energy technologies, and which has since expanded into areas like space.
“DOGE has proven to be a fast, reliable and cryptographically secure digital currency that operates when traditional banks cannot, and is sophisticated enough to finance a commercial Moon mission in full,” Geometric said in the statement. “It has been chosen as the unit of account for all lunar business between SpaceX and Geometric Energy Corporation and sets precedent for future missions to the Moon and Mars.”
Mark Cuban, Snoop Dogg and Gene Simmons are among the other celebrities who have boosted dogecoin. At the same time, warnings abound that its rally is unsustainable and that buyers could lose all their money.
The phrase “to the moon” is often used to express the hope that an asset’s price will continue to rise, and Musk employed the term in a Twitter post referring to the lunar deal.
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