New York-based blockchain software technology startup and Ethereum development studio ConsenSys has acquired asteroid mining company Planetary Resources, Inc. through an asset-purchase agreement. Following the acquisition, Planetary Resources President and CEO Chris Lewicki and General Counsel Brian Israel will be joining the team at ConsenSys, according to an official press release.
Before co-founding and joining the managerial team at Planetary Resources, Chris Lewicki worked as flight director of the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers and Phoenix Mars lander at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
“Over the course of nearly a decade, Planetary Resources has simultaneously pioneered technology, business, law, and policy, and brought the promise of space resources irreversibly closer to humankind’s grasp,” an enthusiastic Lewicki stated in the release.
Speaking further, he recognized the remarkable successes of his former team and lauded the new synergy with ConsenSys.
“I am proud of our team’s extraordinary accomplishments, grateful to our visionary supporters, and delighted to join ConsenSys in building atop our work to expand humanity’s economic sphere of influence in the Solar System.”
Brian Israel worked in the US State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser for eight years before he joined Planetary Resources in 2017. He was in charge of the international legal dimensions of outer space, oceans, and international environmental governance matters, and served as a representative to the United Nations’ space law body. He gave insights about the commercial relevance of Ethereum smart contracts to space exploration and development.
“Ethereum smart contract functionality is a natural solution for private-ordering and commerce in space – the only domain of human activity not ordered around territorial sovereignty – in which a diverse range of actors from a growing number of countries must coordinate and transact,” Israel remarked.
Commenting on the development, co-founder of Ethereum and founder of ConsenSys Joe Lubin hailed Planetary Resources for “inspiring people” across the planet in “support of its bold vision for the future.”
“Bringing deep space capabilities into the ConsenSys ecosystem reflects our belief in the potential for Ethereum to help humanity craft new societal rule systems through automated trust and guaranteed execution. And it reflects our belief in democratizing and decentralizing space endeavors to unite our species and unlock untapped human potential,” he said. “We look forward to sharing our plans and how to join this power in the months ahead.”
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