Space tourism already exists for the obscenely rich and famous but will likely become more common over the next decade thanks to programs like the X PRIZE. PayPal sees this as an opportunity to create an international currency that would be accepted in orbit and perhaps one day even beyond the Lagrange Points. The SETI institute is mentioned in the article at The Inquirer but it is not clear what involvement they had; it would be nice if accumulated BOINC work units would count towards your intergalactic bank account. It will be a while before you have to worry about how to tip your bellhop in orbit but it looks like you might be using PayPal to do it.
"ONLINE PAYMENT FIRM Paypal is working with the SETI Institute on currency that can be used for space commerce.
Who knows what is wrong with real money for commerce? As far as we know people are not trading in space, and no one has ever asked for change for a Martian dollar. Paypal and SETI are hoping to solve this problem before it appears with the launch of Paypal Galactic."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD Has Massive Radeon Patch Set – Power Management! @ Phoronix
- Pebble Smartwatch review @ The Inquirer
- A simple SSL tweak could protect you from GCHQ/NSA snooping @ The Register
- Can a Refrigerator Function as a Faraday Cage? @ MAKE:Blog
- Imagination reveals MIPS 32-bit and 64-bit processor roadmap details @ The Inquirer
- At last! Virtual domain controllers just work @ The Register