July 20 marked the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing. Among the commemorative speeches and the plethora of tweets, many brands wanted to cash in the opportunity to celebrate the day when humanity conquered the moon.
And one may have gone a little overboard.
The firm is a blockchain platform called Diana, which intends to tokenize the moon and distribute its ownership through digital tokens.
If the idea sounds like an article from The Onion, then you are not the only one. The Diana platform is very real, very deliberate, and very much focused on making its ambition a reality.
And it comes with real world examples to support its claims.
What is Diana Blockchain and How Does It Sell the Moon?
Built on the Ethereum platform, Diana is a blockchain that intends to tokenize the land on the moon. Identifying as a lunar land registration program, it proposes to convert the current area of the moon into over 3 billion cells to represent them in the form of blockchain tokens.
From there, Diana intends to sell these tokens to anyone who is interested in having an ownership stake in the moon itself. The idea is to allow humanity to have a shared claim on the natural resource, which according to the firm, is close to being overtaken by a select few corporations.
Given that the moon is not owned by anyone and deeds to the lunar land are not signed off on planet Earth, Diana’s proposal is certain to turn a few heads. The blockchain platform comes prepared to answer ownership-related questions with one simply rhetoric: the moon is currently not owned by anyone — and yet it is open to being acquired and sold by several entities.
To be more specific, Diana quotes a certain section from the UN Outer Space Treaty.
“Outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.” The clause from the treaty reads.
Diana argues that while the specific section exclusively pertains to ownership of the moon’s land by a country or nation, it does not state anything about private ownership. The platform deems itself as being free to tokenize the land that remains open for private ownership.
Diana doesn’t come without substantial claims to back its logic. For this, it cites other instances where civil enterprises have claimed ownership of the moon and other planetary systems. In some cases, such entities have also sold the ownership rights to certain parts of the moon to regular buyers.
One such example that is provided by Diana is of the American Dennis Hope, which sells parts of the moon, Mars, and Mercury along with other solar properties through its Lunar Embassy initiative.
According to the blockchain platform, such civil enterprises are only an example. Apart from NASA running a national space program, initiatives by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Tesla CEO Elon Musk are slowly working their way towards retaining ownership of the moon as private lands.
Diana points to a possibility where the planetary property that should be owned by everyone is only going to be controlled by a select few entities only due to the wealth that they have on their hands. To prevent this from happening, Diana proposes that people step forward to put their claim on the moon before these organizations are successful in doing so.
How Does Diana Plan to Sell the Land on the Moon?
At first glance, what Diana is trying to achieve seems like an attempt to make money out of nothing. To combat this perception, the blockchain explains that its plan to tokenize the moon and sell off its land through the blockchain is not to make money off of a planetary system.
The organization claims that it wants to ensure that the moon isn’t exploited by a few select entities and remains a shared resource for all of humanity.
For this, it is going by the idea of treating the moon as the common heritage that it naturally is for all of humankind. And that is how it brands its proposition to tokenize the moon in order for it to appeal to the masses.
To be specific, Diana aims to distribute the moon’s area into “3,874,204,892 cells with a size of 9,790m².” From there, it plans to denote a unique address to each of these cells for the sake of identification.
The blockchain aims to provide a map-based registration, where the unique address would be able to pinpoint the mass of land owned by a particular individual. Since the land is tokenized and the transactions are recorded on the blockchain, this makes is easier to track the ownership of the platform.
Diana is accepting registrations for its initiative through its website, where it also breaks down the overall economics of its plan and the larger repercussions.
Diana’s Overall Approach to Organization Remains Questionable
The project has team members that hail from all over the world. It claims to be a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).
The very definition of DAO is that it is an organization based on predetermined functions and smart contracts that doesn’t need any human involvement to execute its operations. Everything is automated, and thus remains free of any human influence.
But the way that Diana defines a DAO differs from that description. To Diana, the functions of a DAO are executed through human intervention. Anyone could join the organization and perform a set of tasks. When they leave, they have to nominate someone else who would continue their assigned work on the blockchain.
Diana defines that the contributors to this DAO mechanism are compensated according to their contribution.
Its Token Issuance Model is Not Free from Certain Conditional Issues
The organization will issue two tokens to its users, where DIA will be considered as the registration token and MOND as its transactional token. This is a play on “diamond,” which is what Diana claims to be as compared to Bitcoin’s digital “gold” status. DIA is an ERC-20x token, while MOND will be an ERC-20 token.
Diana claims to offer economic benefits to those who buy the tokenized land of the moon from it. But the organization doesn’t specify if it is registered with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). This may be a requirement if it claims to sell a security token that also provides profits to its holders.
With that being said, the organization isn’t holding an initial coin offering (ICO). This lack of ICO might save it from additional regulatory requirements that come with a mass-selling transaction of tokens. But it doesn’t rule them out completely.
The project also has a roadmap which defines the different stages of token development, issuance, and the overall organization of the proposed structure.
Should You Trust Diana?
Many organizations currently offer the registration of planetary lands and stars. But in most cases, it is nothing more than an effort by the commercial company to put your name to a star or a planetary land.
NASA actually defines this in a page designed for children who are interested in naming or buying stars or the very idea of it. According to the agency, such companies do nothing more than to put a person’s name against a star or planetary property in their own database. But that database is not recognizable anywhere.
Thus, this action is nothing more than a commemorative gesture with no actual stake, claim or value for the buyer.
What Diana is offering seems to be on the same lines. And the fact that its logic is based upon research papers and loopholes in treaties is quite troublesome for anyone who wants to put their money towards this initiative.
If any organization such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX does plan to acquire a part of the moon, those who have bought their land registration from Diana would have no recognized claim on the moon. In such a hypothetical situation, a legal discourse might be involved, but there is no guarantee that the court will rule in the favor of a group of people who “own” the moon through its registration on the blockchain.
As such, it is essential that you assess your decision and its repercussions thoroughly before deciding to buy whatever Diana is selling in both its literal and proverbial sense.
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