Two Revolutions: Space and Blockchain
Last Monday we announced the existence of SpaceFund to the world at the Smart Valor Blockchain Summit in Zurich. While SpaceFund was actually formed several months ago in Delaware and Texas, we’ve been learning, planning and developing the infrastructure, processes and tools we would need to not just claim to be the world’s first tokenized space venture capital fund, but to make sure we could deliver on that claim.
Olga Feldmaier and her team at Smart Valor in Switzerland offered me the chance to address the summit, announce the fund and in fact also announce we would be working with Smart Valor as they pioneer the frontier of tokenized exchanges. It was an amazing experience. Flying back from Zurich after giving the speech, I am reflecting on what happened, what it means and what we are and will be doing moving forward. There is and will be a lot to cover in future posts, but for now I’ll start with one of the main points of my presentation, borne out by the event, and the people I met there.
Standing on that stage in front of a room of pioneers in a field so different from the one I’ve helped develop, I felt a real kinship. The same one that began when I was first introduced to the community not so long ago. It became instantly clear, we are geeks of a feather, and to stretch it a bit – we will go far if we fly together.
In fact, in the talk, I pointed out that we are engaged in two revolutions, that both come from a set of somewhat similar goals, and are both being driven by people who share an almost aggressively positive belief in humanity and our future – somewhat rare commodities in today’s world.
The blockchain revolution seeks to open finance and governance to everyone. Its goal is to enable people to establish and manage their own financial and legal lives, break them out of dependence on central authorities, expand freedom and unleash the power of free enterprise. This will create new wealth and communities –re-inventing society in a way that will allow it to continuously re-invent itself.
The space revolution seeks to open the solar system to everyone. Its goal is to enable humanity to expand beyond the Earth, breaking us out of our dependence on a single world, and unleashing humanity and life into the cosmos. This will create new wealth, and completely new and self-sustaining societies – re-inventing what it means to be human.
In practical terms, we have a lot to offer each other. The blockchain provides the means to not only fund new enterprises, but tokenization simplifies people’s interactions with the entire “chain” of legalities, processes, and mechanisms required to participate in the creation of new wealth and projects. More, it reduces the risk of both those investing and those seeking investors through the adaptability and transparency of smart contracting, and liquidity. And over time, it will provide an interactive toolkit for governance, chain of ownership and conflict resolution – taking just a little of the wildness out of what some see as the “wild west” of new space.
Space frontier-related companies and projects offer the blockchain community the chance to get in on the ground floor of the physical creation of a future that can manifest their own inherent and innate visions of tomorrow. Accessing this new asset class, one that fits into the profile of the tech savvy and future focused, means the wealth being created by those pioneering this new financial world can support and profit from the pioneering of new worlds.
I am not just being clever with words here. When I looked out at the summit audience, I could see and feel a receptivity to what I was saying that was like tapping into some new energy source. Frankly, in a world that breeds cynicism, fear and passivity, I felt I was in a room of optimists, boldness and those who are in action. It was exhilarating. I had felt the same thing on a smaller scale a couple of weeks before when talking to the members of the Silicon Valley Blockchain Society in San Francisco. And this was important, as it told me what I was feeling is not geographic, not restricted to some iconic group of thought leaders in some special place. The blockchain revolution is a global phenomenon, and as such I think it really may “fund the revolution” as the SVBS founders say.
Both revolutions seek to democratize the future. And through tools such as tokenization, we can begin to take the first steps. Easing the burden of regulatory compliance while easing the jobs of regulators is a big deal in the strategic and sometimes paranoid space tech industry. And creating liquidity in a field where assets can be tied up for over a decade is a big deal for investors.
Putting these two revolutionary communities together is going to be a powerful thing. Giving today’s visionary blockchain investors access to the visionary entrepreneurs we are discovering around the world through SpaceFund is just the beginning. Using the power of tokenization to push open the airlock to everyone means we won’t have to count on only billionaires and governments to fund the frontier. This means more projects and more products, and dramatically increases the possibility that we will begin the space renaissance sooner rather than later. Taking this small first step towards democratizing space investments will support the giant leap of democratizing space itself.
About the Author:
Rick Tumlinson is the founding partner of SpaceFund and is a “godfather” of the space revolution. He has spent the last 30+ years defining, enabling and founding many of the foundational organizations of the frontier movement, from the private takeover of Russia’s Mir space station, to the X-Prize, and the first private ticket to ISS. Six-time congressional witness, his prolific writings set the philosophies and legislative pillars of NewSpace itself. He is also a co-Founder of the Space Frontier Foundation and the Founder of the Earthlight Foundation and the New Worlds Institute.
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