How Marscoin can help us fund the first colony in the Solar System
It needs to be done
In 1990 Robert Zubrin and David Baker published a feasibility study detailing plans for a journey to Mars and building a rudimentary base using the natural resources available on Mars . Even though NASA adopted the plan 20 years after the last moon-landing and eventually cancelled it due to budget reasons, another two decades later the chances that government-funded colonization of the solar system will ever happen - even though technologically possible - remain slim.
At the same time the risks associated with asteroids, climate changes, super-vulcanoes, pandemics etc. have not decreased  and opportunities resulting from pushing technological boundaries, inspiring new generations, scientific exploration and engineering challenges could not be greater .
We believe that Mars colonization is a moral imperative. For the sake of future generations and out of gratitude for the achievements of earlier generations that gifted us with this level of knowledge and technological expertise we simply can not to let such opportunity go to waste. We should therefore make the best use of our current technological capabilities and push for the beginning of a settlement and colony on Mars. The resources such an endeavor will ultimately unlock, the science and engineering frontiers it will open up and the unifying power it will exert on mankind are truly inspiring.
The biggest obstacle for beginning to explore settling other parts of the Solar System - in particular the next best choice which is Mars - has been and will be (for the forseable future at least) the big question of funding for such a project. Even though technologically challenging, a Mars mission and colony are within the realm of our current capabilities at the approximate initial cost of 6  to 20 billion USD, far less than many other recent government expenses.
A Planetary Bitcoin Revolution
Since 2009 a new invention, a peer-to-peer decentralized secure payment and monetary system, bitcoin, has demonstrated quite powerful how a future planetary economic and financial system could look like . Indeed, as many observers have noted, the most difficult part in using bitcoin is actually the "legacy system" of our established old banking and financial industry.
It might seem logical that on a new planetary settlement, a payment and value transfer/storage system such as bitcoin would be useful first and foremost. It is very unlikely that the first Martian settlers will start printing paper but it stands to reason that they will need a way to track ownership pretty quickly. In fact, a scarce cryptocurrency would allow the developing Martian economy to operate freely yet prioritize allocating resources towards real needs while insuring that the early stake-holders, risk-takers and most experienced colonists benefit the most.
However, due to the nature of interplanetary communication, Mars is too far from Earth to allow it to participate in the bitcoin network on Earth. The time it would take for a payment on Mars to be confirmed by the blockchain on Earth would be too impractical. Therefore the Mars colony would start their own cryptocurrency .
The Solution: Marscoin
If, however, we were to start that cryptocurrency here on Earth, ahead of time, and donate an initial stack of Marscoins to the efforts of MarsOne, a non-profit with the goal of kickstarting Mars colonization, we could start mining and using Marscoins alongside other cryptocurrencies until the first colony gets established.
The more people that adopt Marscoin and use it in their daily lives, the more the early stake-holders, in this case MarsOne, would benefit and grow in value and thus quite naturally be able to fund the development of the first Mars colony. Just by using Marscoin private individuals would participate in the biggest kickstarter project of all times, funding themselves and mankind's first colony on another planet. Just by using Marscoin, the first extra-terrestrian colony in the Solar System could be boostrapped. As of Jan. 2014 the market cap of Bitcoin is 10 billion, Litecoin 0.5 billion and Dogecoin 10 million USD - any growth in Marscoin will bring humans closer to taking a step among the stars.
Marscoin on Mars - Future of Prosperity & Progress
In addition everyone who downloads the Marscoin client initially and starts mining and using it and thus supporting the endeavor will benefit personally in correlation to his early level of support - with the privacy and anonymity of cryptocurrencies this wealth can easily be transferred to all their future generations on Mars: Once the first MarsOne rocket heads towards Mars, a copy of the blockchain will be transfered to Mars and setup as the first mining node on Mars and thus become the new voluntary Martian currency used by Mars colonists who already have started using Marscoin. This "cap" on the ability to participate in Marscoin to reserve your "kickstarter spot" on the use of Marscoin here on Earth will lead to time-based scarcity increasing the value of Marscoin prior to moving to Mars and thus increasing the funding available and the speed with which the colony can be made a reality.
On Mars, early colonists will continue to mine Marscoin. Because Marscoin is derived from Litecoin, its frequent confirmations (2.5 minutes) and scrypt algorithm will make it convenient and secure. There will be no need for expensive and costly mining machinery to keep the network running. Also, proposals exist that could add extra layers of security on Marscoin to prevent possible Earth-side interference with the blockchain on Mars (due to the distance, there it is relatively easy to protect Marscoin from Earth). Eventually we can envision exchanges that will allow money conversion from Bitcoin (Earthcoin) to Marscoin on Mars and Earth.
The planet most like ours, it has still been thought impossible to reach, let alone explore and inhabit. But all that changed when leading space exploration authority Robert Zubrin crafted a daring new blueprint, Mars Direct. When it was first published in 1996, The Case for Mars became an instant classic, lauded widely for its game-changing perspective by those who would see the American space program rise to the challenge of Mars; Carl Sagan called Zubrin the man who, “nearly alone, changed our thinking on this issue.” Now, fifteen years later, Zubrin brings readers up to date in this revised and updated anniversary edition filled with spectacular illustrations, extraordinary photographs, and one-of-a-kind anecdotes. Amazon
Mars Outpost provides a detailed insight into the various technologies, mission architectures, medical requirements, and training needed to send humans to Mars. It focuses on mission objectives and benefits, and the risks and complexities that are compounded when linked to an overall planet exploration program involving several expeditions and setting up a permanent presence on the surface. Amazon
-  Mars Direct on Wikipedia [link] Zubrin, Robert; Richard Wagner, Arthur C. Clarke (Foreword) (November, 2011). The Case for Mars (1st Touchstone Ed edition ed.). Free Press;. p. 51. ISBN 0684835509. [link]
-  NASA increases impact risk [link], also Elon Musk on avoiding exctinction event [link] - "becoming multiplanetary or going extinct [link]
-  The Promise of Mars [link]
-  [link], SpaceX plans for Mars: [link] and [link]
-  Bas Lansdorp [link] , MarsOne mission plan [link]
-  [link]
-  Reddit [link]
-  Bitexchange [link], Bitcoin economy [link]