[ExI] De-Orbiting Gold

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Mon May 21 15:58:02 UTC 2012

On Sun, May 20, 2012 at 9:26 PM, Adrian Tymes <atymes at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sun, May 20, 2012 at 2:53 PM, Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Sun, May 20, 2012 at 12:18 PM, Adrian Tymes <atymes at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Tis sad, but true. I think you could, however, set up a kind of space
>> bank. Adrian, you pay me $1000 for an ounce of gold in orbit, and
>> Mike, you pay me $4000 for a ton of copper in orbit, and you just hold
>> that as stored value (money) until you exchange it for something else,
>> or you create something with it. This kind of money is probably
>> preferable by many people to fiat currency. At least there is
>> something real that some day you can hope to recover and put to use.
> Not really.  Currency has value because people believe in its worth.

I think this story could be sold. If you can sell Bitcoin to some
people as a valid government independent monetary unit, how much
easier would gold in orbit be? I can't imagine that it would be

> Most people believe that raw materials in space are currently worth
> nothing.  Until after you convince them otherwise - which is probably
> going to require the existence of fabrication equipment in space - you
> still have no customers.

Just as a holder of value, I think it would work. Honestly.

> And here is where you miss my point.

No, I don't think I've missed your point, you see gold and other
precious metals in orbit as currently having zero value. I merely

> Once the space elevator is built...
> Once there is a way to use the stuff in orbit...
> At some future date, when X happens...

I'll admit to living in the future a bit more than is healthy. But on
this point, I'm living in the present. I can almost guarantee you that
if I had an orbiting bank that demonstrably held a thousand pounds or
more of gold, that I could sell shares in that bank TODAY and that I
could create a currency based upon that gold that would circulate
TODAY. As a numismatist with 30+ years experience in studying money in
its myriad forms, I can assure you that this would be accepted as real
money by a very large number of people. It might even become more
accepted than government fiat money if there were enough precious
metals collected.

By the way, I would probably park it at one of the Lagrange points so
you wouldn't have to worry about it plummeting to earth as it's orbit

> I'm talking about right now, when none of that has happened yet.  So
> are most people, especially those outside this list.

So am I. The only part that is imaginary is the actual asteroid
mining. The currency would be a slam dunk once you actually collected
the metals.

> I agree, there is a way to make these things have value.  But that
> is a far cry from these things already having value - even significant
> speculative value - today, that you can draw from.

Well, the one thing we don't have today is actual collected gold.

>> I would buy a piece of a space elevator counterweight. It's
>> great money...
> Would you?  Then would you invest in a venture that sought to
> create a space elevator?  How much are you willing to part with?

If a company had a plan that sounded plausible, primarily in terms of
the material to build the tether, I would definitely invest in it.

> The answer, of course, is not a high enough price that anyone
> capable of delivering would accept your contract.
>>> Which gets to the heart of the problem: lack of fabrication capability
>>> in space.
>> That is a problem for sure, but it is a different problem.
> Nope.  It is the problem at hand here.

Listen very carefully... Precious metals have value because of what
can be built out of them, however, they also have INTRINSIC value to
many people... That value is there whether the gold is in a safe
underneath the collapsed twin towers, or in outer space. It may take a
few years to dig it out of the rubble, or a few more to actually
retrieve it from outer space, but it has value today.

In fact, if you really want to stretch it, you might be able to build
a currency based on the gold that a certain company WILL collect at
some time in the future. Obviously this would have a very low value
compared to currently available terrestrial gold, but it would have

So here is my proposal to whoever is thinking about mining
asteroids... Create a currency redeemable in gold, another for silver,
platinum, copper and so on... Sell it on the open market today... It
would have to be an electronic currency, and you would have to know
from the currency whether you were entitled to the first ounce of gold
retrieved or the millionth. Then you open that currency up to the
world just like Bitcoin. If and when they or their successor retrieves
actual physical gold, that currency is redeemable in that physical
metal. Now, maybe today the value of an ounce of gold orbiting out in
the asteroid belt might only be a dollar or two, maybe less, let the
market decide... but I can guarantee that it's worth SOMETHING, and it
could pay for the development of space mining.

Much crazier schemes have been sold in the past, I assure you!!! And
while this may have a flavor of P.T. Barnum to it, I can assure you
that it would work. Some of the people, some of the time, would buy
into this scheme.

> Convince a bunch of people to think of it that way, and then it will be.
> We're talking many thousands of people, at a bare minimum, to be
> what most would consider "money"

Absolutely. Though it only takes two parties to create a market. You
could think of it as a kind of speculative stock if you would rather,
instead of "money"... but it is something with real value that could
be exchanged today in the same way as Bitcoin... with the difference
being that some day it could convert into something with tangible

> Haven't convinced that many yet?  Then, sorry, it is not stored money
> yet.

Crap, I just came up with the idea yesterday... it takes time to build
up trust in a currency... LOL :-)


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