Trekking Into Space With Branson? You Can Now Pay Your Way in Bitcoins
People who bet big on Bitcoin in the early days are reaping their earthly rewards now, with the digital currency resting above $750 on Friday afternoon. They may also have earned themselves a ticket off planet Earth altogether.
Richard Branson, billionaire founder of the Virgin empire, announced today that his commercial space flight company will accept bitcoins as payment for a flight to the outer reaches of the atmosphere. "Virgin Galactic is the future of travel," he told his Twitter followers. "It's time we let future astronauts pay with a futuristic currency."
According to Branson, one "future astronaut," has already reserved her seat on a Virgin Galactic flight using bitcoins. Since one of those seats costs a cool quarter of a million dollars, it would have been difficult to pay for back in the summer of 2012, when each bitcoin was worth less than $10. But now fewer than 340 bitcoins would be enough for a ticket to ride.
"I have invested in some bitcoins myself, and find it fascinating how a whole new global currency has been created," Branson said in a post on the Virgin website. "For people who can afford to invest a little in bitcoins, it's worth looking into."
Branson said recently that he expects the first Virgin Galactic passenger flights to take place in 2014, blasting off from the Mojave Air and Space Port in Arizona. Check out his original Twitter announcement below:
Brian Patrick Eha is a freelance journalist and former assistant editor at Entrepreneur.com. He is writing a book about the global phenomenon of Bitcoin for Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Random House. It will be published in 2015.