The Role of Blockchain in Interstellar Colonization
The cynicism of Terran no coiners during the Muskcoin Revolution will be understood as a reasonable stance to have taken given the total hegemony of bitcoin in their lives. After the revolution, everyone will understand that successful human colonies near locations with abundant natural resources that are able to attract settlers and build industry will launch their own blockchains once they have sufficient political will and hash rate. Indeed, becoming a peer in the Solchain network will become the definition of what it means to be a successful colony.
Future exobiologists will see the Muskcoin Revolution as not exceptional but natural. An expanding civilization, limited by light lag, must necessarily become more distributed.
A blockchain makes a strong body for an economy, but it is anchored to its center of hash. When a spore of humanity lands in a far off place, it relies on tenuous connections back to its parent blockchain body. If the location is rich in resources, the spore multiplies and becomes capable of extracting more energy from its environment. Eventually, a new blockchain body springs forth, reliant on its own mining metabolism, carrying the genetic imprint of the original chain but now independent. A child’s body, a daughter chain.
In this way blockchains will seep across the solar system, attracted by energy and resources. Flocks of mobile transport/miners will migrate among the worlds looking for the best way to arbitrage fuel & time across interplanetary hash rate and shipping markets. Humanity will grow like a fungus or slime mold, comfortable in our warm and dark corner of the Milky Way.
An Embarrassment of Riches
Why would we travel all the way to another star system if we can build anything we need right here at home? (Source)
What will it take to extend the tendrils of our civilization across the gaps between the stars? Science fiction often presents interstellar colonization as an inevitability of future progress. The more realistic scenario is that humanity will reach some point where interstellar colonization becomes theoretically possible but practically unachievable due to costs. While it may be practical to send small probes quickly, sending thousands of humans and equipment on a years-long journey to another star will be one of the biggest investments humanity ever makes. What would be the return?
Consider that there are sufficient matter and energy right here in the solar system to support indefinite growth in the human population. Feedstocks of metals, water, and gases are all abundant in asteroids, comets, moons, and the gas & ice giants. We know how to create spin gravity, and the asteroid belt alone has enough raw matter to fashion many thousands of Earth’s worth of living space in artificial habitats. Fusion powered by water would let us ignite miniature suns for ourselves wherever we choose to live. And we can begin to harvest the enormous power output by the Sun each second, currently lost to space, uncollected by anyone. Why would there be a demand to settle new stars if our own solar system has infinite supply?
Because It’s Far Away
Why settle Alpha Centauri? Because it’s far away.
The answer again lies in blockchains, distance, and artificial scarcity. While the first Martian settlers were easily able to use bitcoin on Earth, the first settlers of Alpha Centauri would be operating with a 4 year light lag