The 21st century space race seems to be brewing between Elon Musk and BitMEX, with both sides committing to launching the cryptocurrency first in the literal moon.

Crypto-derivative exchange BitMEX announced on Friday that they will support the space robotics company Astrobotic Technology in the company’s mission to send its first commercial lunar landing in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Noting that the mission is meant to be the first time “a private company leading a coalition of government, academia, industry and international partners reaches the surface of the moon,” BitMEX plans to take advantage of this by offering a one-of-a-kind physical bitcoin (BTC) to the surface of the moon … Referring to Musk as “the master of Dogecoin,” BitMEX added:

“We have nothing against dog money, and we felt it was right to help Bitcoin get there first.”
The announcement follows Musk’s news in early May that SpaceX plans to launch a Dogecoin-funded payload on one of its first rockets to the moon, and confirms that Dogecoin (DOGE) will be the first cryptocurrency to reach the lunar orbit next year.

Musk responded to BitMEX’s new astronomical ambitions on Twitter, saying, “The new space race has begun!”

While the responses to Elon’s tweet are mainly from his followers who are targeting DOGE to win the cryptocurrency round, others have pointed out that there are more serious problems on earth than their favorite creep is the first to orbit another celestial body.

While several projects exploring the benefits of building cryptocurrency infrastructure from space have captured the imagination of Musk’s Dogecoin expedition, the Tesla chief’s plans to take cryptocurrency out of this world are not the first.

Blockstream appears to have pioneered the use of cryptocurrencies, launching satellites to broadcast bitcoin transactions from space in August 2017.

In August 2020, Robonomics and Kusama announced an ambitious plan to develop an “interplanetary architecture” capable of transferring data between Mars and Earth using the Kusama network.

CryptoSat outlined the concept with its ambitious plan to launch a coffee cup-sized nanosatellite into space in a white paper published in November 2017, using the satellite as a cryptographic module isolated from orbit. The team plans to prove the concept with a launch this year and then send an entire CryptoSats constellation into orbit.

Spacechain was similarly launched in 2017 and put the nodes in motion. On June 3, 2021, the project announced that an Ethereum multi-purpose cargo, intended to be installed on the International Space Station, was launched aboard a SpaceX rocket.