back to article Currency launched to cover the cosmos

Scientists have come up with a new currency to be used by inter-planetary travellers. The Quasi Universal Intergalactic Denomination, or Quid, is made from a polymer used in non-stick pans and is designed to withstand the stresses of space travel. The Quasi Universal Intergalactic Denomination, or Quid The Quasi Universal …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Micropayment systems...

    ...are dead! Long live fiddling small change!

  2. Steve Evans


    Would this be the university and space peeps who are funded by our tax quid?

    I propose a merger of the "dept of the bleedin' obvious" with the "dept of the bleedin' pointless"

    Haven't they got something useful to do, you know like check some figures so their next mars probe has a life expectancy slightly longer than a western civilian wearing a stars and stripes T-shirt at a Baghdad market?

  3. Damian Gabriel Moran

    "A red Pentagon! Salamander, your move"

    I am glad I am not the only person left to remember the adventure game, when I talk about it most folk just go "Huh?" and scratch their heads.

    that said, on the subject of currency, how many deciduous forests to one ships peanut?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BBC Technology correspondents strike again

    Once again the media studies graduates in the BBC's technology department take a press release issued by a company and regurgitate it wholesale thinking they're informing the world.

    This is a solution groping in the darkness for a willing problem.

    There is no problem because a: there are no space tourists, b: there's nothing to spend money on up there.

    But in any event it would be much easier to adopt the approach used on cruise liners. When boarding the passenger's credit card is swiped and they are issued a payment card for use on the ship. The ship only accepts the onboard payment system and everything is reconciled at the end of the trip. Extending this to the Starship Titanics of the future hardly seems impossible.

  5. Martin Gregorie

    Monster currency

    This looks like a remarkably silly idea:

    - the quids are too big and thick.

    - not many quids to a pocket, even at 6.25 to the pound.

    - let go of them in space and you couldn't see them.

    Something like a set of rings, each denomination a different size, colour and texture would be equally non-damaging to yer space suit. If they were split rings, you could use another ring, anchored to said space suit, as a purse.

  6. ben
    Thumb Up

    My First Programming Contract...

    ...was to write a version of the Vortex final stage of the Adventure Game for a lecturer at college. His daughter was having a party and wanted to play the game. ah those were the days, AI on a BBC 'B'.

  7. Tom

    Gronda gronda!

    That is all.

  8. Ash
    Paris Hilton


    Can't go slipping one of those Quids into a space-faring alien dominatrix's g-string.

    *Note* I've given in and used your silly icons. God bless Blog culture.

  9. Mike Peachey

    No Currency in Star Trek?

    Dare I mention Gold-Pressed Latinum?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Call me old fashioned

    but I don't accept anything less than gold-pressed latinum.

  11. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Down

    Dumb PR

    Seriously, how pointless is this. Have you seen the values? Instead of a change-friendly system like pennies (1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100), they've done these in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. "Er, sorry mate, I can't pay you five quids, I only have two fours on me. Do you happen to have a three? No?"

    And how big would your pockets need to be for these... come to think of it, the sheer cost per gram of lifting items into space in the first place is likely to be far more than the value of these 'coins'.

    Not to mention accessibility - how exactly are blind people meant to differentiate between blob shapes?

    Apparently one of the driving reasons for coming up with this is that 'magnetic stripes will be wiped in space due to background radiation' or something - don't you think that once we have Space hotels and shops, we might possibly have completed the transition to chip-and-pin?

    Dumb, dumb, dumb, and a blatant attention-grabbing press release, duly lapped up by lazy journalists.

  12. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    The Adventure Game

    Another pointless waste of our money.

    Anyway, onto other pointless tasks... I clicked on the link to the Adventure Game and came to the BBC cult TV classics site and 'tis great to see all the old favourites such as Blake's 7, Bagpuss and Rentaghost (Ms Popov... pop-off!!! - classic indeed); but does anyone remember an old Channel 4 show called "They came from outer space..?" It was part of their very first line-up schedule and all I remember is that it was a bit like "The day of the Triffids" but with giant pink prawns...

    Although, it may just be that I've eaten one dodgy pink prawn too many.


  13. Keith Turner
    Paris Hilton

    cashless society

    I thought we were gong towards electronic cash and getting rid of the hard stuff.

    We'll all be chipped up and will just need to present part of ourselves towards a reading device that the other person has.

    No doubt with humans it will be some form of universal gesture such as a handshake. But what will we do when faced with some of the alien ATM's - which part of us is supposed to be placed where?

  14. CBarn


    The ubuitous "credits" were used in "Star Trek" also - they were used to purchase tribbles in the original series ...

  15. Michael Grimes

    Coins? In the space age?

    Considering much of our financial transactions are already made with credit and debit cards, are we really going to still be carrying coins? What a waste of effort.

  16. salman ali
    Dead Vulture

    not a joke?

    This is serious? I thought it was just a spoof piece >.>

    I have no idea what this bleeding dead chicken avatar is supposed to mean btw.

  17. pctechxp
    Jobs Halo

    Cashless society

    Yep next week MasterCard will launch the Universe MasterCard and Visa will follow with the Intergalactic Visa

    Wonder what will replace Chip and PIN in space, perhaps a Valcan mind meld with the card's chip will ensure only you can use it or perhaps we'll have Borg-like connections to our cards....

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Truly Universal

    If i'm remembering my Guide correctly, the Altarian dollar recently collapsed, the Triganic Pu is 3 light-years to a side and the Flalian Pobble bead is only exchangeable for other Flalian Pobble Beads...

    It's nice to see these guys have come up with a currency that overcomes these problems, is actually useful AND is safe for travel in space. I must remember to weave a few into my towel...

  19. Luther Blissett

    Have they considered

    whether usury is acceptable with the locals?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stuck inthe past as usual

    Of course the British came up with this. If I were an intergalactic space traveller I would want everything done electronically. Leave it to the British to use pre-roman technology in the future. Stuck in the past as usual.

  21. Lee Aydelotte

    Quid pro Quid

    I always thought a quid was one pound. Now we have a quid for six pounds (plus), which is six quid, which is 36 pounds....Sounds like another plot of the Eurocrats to do in the venerable sterling through hyper-inflation.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The only economic reason... go to another planet, is to mine for raw materials of intrinsic value - which will become money (via barter/exchange) of it's own accord. As for this invention...

    1. The coin has no locator beacon in it. (A bit of a problem when your change decouples from you, whilst spacewalking in Jovian orbit.)

    2. The constituent materials are not rare enough to justify the object's value. (Credit cards, banknotes, coins of no intrinsic value, numbers on a computer screen etc. only have an easily-broken promise to pay, to back them up immediately - ask Northern Rock depositors.)

    In all, the raw materials for barter/exchange are already in place in whichever planet anyone chooses to go to; just take a geologist & a mining team. Some bunch of suits in an Earth-bound central bank can sod off from manipulating the value of what's in my spacesuit pocket - or in the Martian dust, for that matter! I'd like to see how a computerised & liquid market could be made to run, with even a two light minute time delay. Rapid electronic transactions can work down here, or planet-local, but they won't work with the vast distances of 'up there'.

  23. Andy

    The Adventure Game

    ...starring Moira Stewart, apparently:

  24. Sabahattin Gucukoglu

    How Many QUIDS ...

    to the Zorkmid?

    And as someone else points out, quids are just fine representing the Limeyian pound, thanks so much. And Red dwarf, in any case, sees the currency of space as the dollarpound, reflecting a distinctly allied west. I suppose we can be grateful these clumsy coins aren't exchangeable for Turkish Lira, in any event. (Situation has drastically improved in Turkey both due to strong adoption of the Euro [gugh] and to the New Turkish Lira which is essentially just a million times stronger than an approximate equivalence in "Old" Lira.)

    @Ian: coins aren't a problem to a blind person provided they're actually distinguishable in some way. Size is a usable measure but not preferable. Texture is nicer. British currency is very good there. In the US there is still a lot of rather ineffectual fuss being made over the fact that different denominations of note aren't distinguishable without using a mark reader, but even there there's a chance the unit won't get it right. Over here (UK), you can do it just measuring notes against the finger, with practice, or use a small measuring gauge, because the change in widths across the notes is quite distinctive enough.



  25. Jon Tocker


    Only currencies I'll accept are Earth Alliance credits or Centauri ducats!

    Honestly, we haven't even got a burgeouning space tourism industry and some total dicks are already saying "and here's the currency the whole world will use in space."

    Bollocks! When we do get motels, casinos and B&Bs on the LEO satelites/moon/Mars/asteroid belt t'll wind up like everywhere else - electronic transactions on your (RFID chipped) VISA/MasterCard/Diner's Club,

    What currency is accepted is determined by those performing the transaction, not by some bunch of Earth-bound ninnies making a decision on behalf of everyone.

    Which means if the Mare Imbrium B&B or the Olympus Mons Hilton are prepared to accept Euro, US dollars, Flanian Pobble-beads and ducats (Centauri or otherwise) as well as VISA, then that's what currencies are going to be used.

  26. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    And I thought we were in October

    Is it the 1st of April already ? My how time flies !

  27. Iain Cartledge
    Thumb Down

    You won't need to worry about the distance issue...

    because obviously it won't update your credit instantaneously, you'll just pre-purchase a temporary card with a certain number of credits on it and use that. It will be only usable with the correct ID chip, which by that time will, of course, be inserted under the skin of the person who buys the card. If you have credits left you can either keep the card or redeem them by 'selling' the card back to your bank. Simple enough?

  28. El (not Reg)

    You'll always need to think about the distance matter.

    re:You won't need to worry about the distance issue...

    "Simple enough?"

    No; it reeks of the middleman wanting his undeserved cut, again. If humanity's planning on taking it's capacity to be unselfsufficient into space, then it's not going to get very far. When the west of North America was settled, there were supply lines back to civilisation, yet, for the most part, it was 'every man for himself', on the way to fully settling the land. Space will be like this, except that there's no west coast which forces one to stop at - ever! i.e. Never full settlement. Self-sufficiency will be the only thing that'll get a significant population into space, combined with the carrot of resources to exploit (the reason Antarctica is still, pretty much, empty - the resources are there, but people are scared of altering the place!). The old European seagoing explorers knew this, too. Consideration of wilderness survival, & the history of Earth's exploration, will go a long way to understanding how things will work, in the future, up there.

    If you want to trade with me, I'd rather keep my materials, & supplies for exchange, onboard my transport (it'd better have a big cargo bay!); like was done on a wagon train, Drake's Golden Hinde or Cook's Endeavour, for example. I wouldn't exchange something of genuine use (an ion engine, air scrubber, water, LOX, sheetmetal, dehydro'd rations etc.) for something of no genuine value.

    Put simply; do you think that fiat currency was any use to Amundsen or Scott, on the way to the South Pole?

  29. Brian

    I'm tearing up right now.....*sniffle*....

    The numerous Douglas Adams references have made me smile for the first time today.

    BTW...If I remember correctly, the Triganic Pu has been devalued and as such has been rejected by the intergalctic banking council as being "so much fiddling small change".

    Thanx for the smiles, all...

    Until next time, I will be down in my bunk.


    BH (Reactor Scrubber's Mate 8th Class - Starship Titanic)

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