Space might be the final frontier, but it also might end up being the final showdown between crypto asset Bitcoin and the precious metal and chemical element known as gold. In a wild story that sounds like it was ripped from the pages of science fiction novels, NASA is planning a space mission to an asteroid comprised of previous metals – such as gold – to conduct extensive scientific research that could uncover the viability of mining the astroid for the supposed over $10 quadrillion worth it contains.
While such an event is many years away, if asteroid mining companies are able to tap into the golden goose of a rock, it could considerably throw off the supply of gold, rendering it virtually worthless. Such an event would also propel Bitcoin significantly, and really highlight the importance of its hard-coded digital scarcity compared to the perceived scarcity of its physical counterpart.
NASA Plans 2022 Mission to Explore Gold-Filled Asteroid Psyche 16
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is planning a “mission to a metal world,” when it visits an asteroid called Psyche 16 said to be comprised of $10 quadrillion worth of precious metals including gold.
NASA’s motives are purely for exploration, as they intend to “determine whether Psyche is a core, or if it is unmelted material,” among other scientific research goals. However, the powerhouses of the mining industry that control most of the gold that’s brought to market, would be eager to travel to space and back to further grow their market dominance and control the supply.
Such a thing would still be many years away, as the launch of such a mission would begin in 2022 barring any major delays, take an estimated 2.5 years to reach the golden goose asteroid, and at least a year or two to conduct research. That research would need to be assimilated, and mining companies would need to understand exactly how much of the precious metals could be extracted before venturing into outer space.
Tapping Asteroid Would Cripple Gold Value, Take Bitcoin Price to Final Frontier
The amount the asteroid could potentially contain worth of metals like iron, nickel, gold, and palladium – some more valuable than others here on Earth – is said to be enough to make every human on Earth a billionaire, but that’s just not how basic supply and demand economics works. Based on current gold prices, maybe. But tapping into such an asteroid could potentially be catastrophic for the price of gold – but equally as beneficial for Bitcoin.
Each year, gold miners bring to market between 4-5 million ounces of gold, or between $5.6 and $7 billion dollars, to the market. It takes as much as $210 billion – the entire current market cap of Bitcoin – to move gold just 3%, so the addition of only a few billion dollars doesn’t hinder the asset’s value increasing.
— WhalePanda (@WhalePanda) June 28, 2019
Given that gold’s market cap is $7.5 trillion, the sudden realization that over $10 quadrillion more of the supposedly scarce asset being out there, just waiting to be tapped into, could essentially render all the gold on Earth worthless. Bringing such a supply here on Earth would also destroy the price of gold in a near instant due to supply and demand economics.
Any asset – gold, Bitcoin, crypto or otherwise – is always worth what others are willing to pay for it. Gold is at $1,400 per ounce, and offers so few benefits over its digital counterpart in Bitcoin. Bitcoin is digital, can be sent anywhere in the world, and is coded to be hard-capped so the supply cannot increase – not even if we start exploring the farthest reaches of the universe.
Once the entire world learns that the gold they hold due to how scarce and rare it was, isn’t actually so and that there’s a seemingly endless supply just outside of arms reach, it could cause waves of capital to flow into Bitcoin – an asset that actually has scarcity built directly into its source code.
While this is many years away, it might finally cause a dramatic shift of gold capital outpouring into Bitcoin that eventually flips its market cap, becomes the global currency, and all the other things that the crypto asset can potentially be.