Bitcoin has taken off like a rocket over the last few months, heading toward what those in the bitcoin and cryptocurrency community call “the moon.”
The bitcoin price smashed through its 2017 all-time highs this month, pushed on by institutional adoption and support from payments giant PayPal PYPL .
Now, after sparking speculation earlier this month his electric car company Tesla TSLA could add bitcoin to its balance sheet, Elon Musk, who’s also the chief executive of aerospace company SpaceX, has said a future Mars economy could be based on cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin.
Musk, commenting on a tweet made by influential artificial intelligence researcher and podcaster Lex Fridman last week, agreed that a “Mars economy will run on crypto”—without specifying whether it could be bitcoin or another smaller cryptocurrency.
MORE FOR YOU
Another commenter in the Twitter thread named the now defunct cryptocurrency and Mars “colonization” project Marscoin, but it was likely a tongue-in-cheek nod to the number of highly specialized but largely unused digital tokens that have flooded the cryptocurrency market in recent years.
For Musk, a billionaire serial entrepreneur who’s ridden Tesla’s soaring share price toward the top of the global rich list this year, manned missions to Mars aren’t a distant possibility but a near-term goal.
Earlier this month, Musk said he is “highly confident” SpaceX will land humans on Mars by 2026: “If we get lucky, maybe four years. We want to send an uncrewed vehicle there in two years.”
The colonization of Mars is something Musk thinks humanity needs to do to ensure “the continuance of consciousness as we know it,” he told Mars Society founder Robert Zubrin in October.
The bitcoin and cryptocurrency community is sharply attuned to Musk’s interest in crypto, with Musk repeatedly teasing crypto watchers with bitcoin memes and cryptic references despite revealing he’s “neither here nor there on bitcoin” in a podcast at the beginning of 2020.
Musk’s influence is such that he sent the the price of “joke” cryptocurrency dogecoin sharply higher when he made a reference to it this month.