Spacebit has announced plans to launch a decentralised and democratised platform to fund space exploration, using blockchain and cryptocurrency technology.

Plans for an initial coin offering have been announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, with a Spacebit Token sale initially open to qualified investors, before going public at a yet-to-be-confirmed date.

The Spacebit Foundation launched five years ago with the ultimate goal of democratising space exploration, “unshackled by state or national sponsorship”.

It plans to do this by launching its own cryptocurrency, allowing anyone to fund projects and participate in humanity’s future across the universe.

“The future of space exploration is currently reliant on Governments and commercial investors,” said Pavlo Tanasyuk, founder of Spacebit.

“However, with available public money for space exploration on an inevitable decline, we are looking to involve individual, private stakeholders to become the new space pioneers.”

So far it has gained support from experts across science and finance, as well as industry leaders, public figures and ex-cosmonauts such as Anatoly Artsebarsky, a co-founder and technical advisor for Spacebit.

In October 2017 Spacebit signed an agreement with the Kiev Polytechnic Institute, securing cooperation on satellites PolyITAN 3, 4, and 5. The foundation has also shown interest in ‘CubeSats’ – a small, low-cost, cube-shaped satellite.

It has since announced that its goal is to launch a satellite of its own within the next year.

“Launching a satellite will not only prove that community missions are viable but will ensure that the future of space exploration is at the fingertips of individuals,” said Tanasyuk. “Once the doors to space are open, the possibilities are endless.”

The space platform will function as a Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO), an ecosystem in which the public can choose and support space exploration projects–essentially a community-led crowdfunding platform.

“We believe that technologies like blockchain, which powers cryptocurrency, and a new kind of crowdfunding is the future of space exploration,” said Tanasyuk. “Spacebit will allow collective ownership of projects, creating exciting opportunities to directly invest in space technologies.”

Spacebit has ambitions to one day investigate lunar lava caves, put a telescope on the dark side of the Moon and have a lunar-orbiting satellite relay the data back to Earth.

“A new era of exploration has arrived. Get involved, and find out more about our funding community and be a part of open space exploration; making new discoveries and creating new technology.”

The platform and host website will officially launch at 22:30 CET, 24 January 2018, at an event at the HubCulture pavilion, Davos.