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PayPal Galactic to Handle Transactions in Outer Space

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PayPal and SETI have recently unveiled PayPal Galactic in an effort to find the best way to process financial transactions outside of Earth.

But they anticipate that there will be many issues once cosmic travel becomes mainstream.

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"What will be our standard currency up there? How will the banking system need to adapt?" PayPal president David Marcus said. "How will risk and fraud management evolve? IP address from space? That's not a country for us; how are we going to deal with that?" 

It is also not known how off-world banking transactions will be regulated, and who would do the regulating. 

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"We will focus on answering those questions and inviting everyone around the table who wants to participate - scientists and the industry as well," Marcus said. "We're really, really looking forward to having the conversation for the next couple of years."

They believe it is important to start talking about this topic now, as private spaceflight will soon open up to the masses.

Virgin Galactic and XCOR Aerospace are already talking about opening up commercial flights to suborbital space within the next year. They plan on charging $250,000 and $95,000, respectively, for seats. But Marcus said, just like commercial flights on Earth did, commercial flights to space will go down dramatically as time passes.

"Futurists expect space travel to follow what happened to air travel," he said. In 1935, for instance, a roundtrip ticket from New York to Los Angeles cost $4,500, the equivalent of $80,000 today.

So in a few decades, Virgin's ticket price will probably come down to a few thousand dollars.

Marcus expects even more space events to take place once we start flying there, with orbiting hotels, luxury 'space yachts' and outposts on the moon and Mars highly likely.

"The time is right," Marcus said. "Space tourism is taking off."

Sources: Yahoo, Washington Post