I stumbled across this quite a while ago, and only remembered it recently. I know it was just some kind of marketing prank pulled by Travelex, but I quite like the idea of space money.
QUID is a proposed form of cash for space tourists and stands for Quasi Universal Intergalactic Denomination (although in my humble opinion, “interplanetary” would’ve been a better choice). Also, as you may or may not know, “quid” is British slang for Pounds Sterling. I think it comes from the latin, quid pro quo…
But anyway, so the concept is actually quite interesting when you think about it. Rounded plastic “coins” would certainly be less hazardous in orbit than metallic coins, and paper money could potentially be sucked into an air duct. The designs (or the size and colour, anyway) are based on the 8 major planets, varying in size and colour, and each is embedded with a unique serial number to prevent counterfeiting. It actually doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Admittedly, maybe not an entirely practical idea yet — at least until the ISS gets a Coke machine.
More comical though, was the great outcry on the internet from people talking about how useless and nonsensical it was. Honestly… Some people have no sense of fun. And it’s us scientists who are supposedly the dry and boring ones!
In any case, if space tourism ever does take off, some kind of currency will probably be necessary. Admittedly, it may not take the form of small perspex coins, but at least someone’s brave enough to come up with “nonsense” ideas like this!