Don't expect it to cover travel expenses. At all.
Ahoy swashbuckling spacefarers: if you're hunting for off-world treasure, look no further than the Moon.
As spotted by Gizmodo, the crypto company LunarCrush says it'll be leaving a bounty of 62 Bitcoin near the lunar south pole that's completely up for grabs. So in theory, any adventurer daring enough to hitch a ride to the Moon can snatch up the booty for themselves, which hopefully will still be worth anywhere near the purported $1.5 million it's valued at now (don't necessarily count on that, though). The sticker price won't even come close to the exorbitant travel expenses for getting there and back, but hey, it's the novelty that counts, right?
The goal of this stunt is to "inspire people to build communities that will unlock a new era of exploration," according to LunarCrush CEO Joe Vezzani. "It's like Willy Wonka's 'golden ticket' for the Web3 era, and we couldn't be more excited to see how it all unfolds," he said in a press release. Uh yeah, sure.
The bounty is called Nakomoto_1, named after the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin — but it's not actually some space-shielded hard drive with Bitcoin sitting in it. Instead, it's merely a key to a private crypto wallet, engraved on a hidden portion of a lunar rover called the Mobile Autonomous Prospecting Platform, or MAPP, which is decidedly less cool than unearthing a real treasure chest.
The MAPP rover, however, isn't there just to be a glorified crypto receptacle, and it certainly doesn't belong to LunarCrush — that's way out of the platform's budget.
A creation of the space company Lunar Outpost, its real purpose is part of Tipping Point, a NASA-backed campaign to get private companies to flex their tech in space in the hopes of furthering commercial spacefaring capabilities and infrastructure, which includes having Nokia set up the first 4G network on the Moon.
The rover and its crypto bounty will be brought to the Moon aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch scheduled for June. Once it's there, MAPP will deploy around the lunar south pole, where it will be used to test Nokia's wireless network for two weeks. Once the mission's over, the rover will simply be abandoned, at which point it and its bounty will be at the mercy of any motivated off-world crypto bros.
As of now, LunarCrush is still trying to raise funds for the bounty by selling NFTs, so you might want to hold off until LunarCrush can put its money where its mouth is.
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