Richard Branson announced today that his commercial space company, Virgin Galactic, will accept Bitcoin in exchange for a ride into space.
The adoption of Bitcoin as a means of currency has now entered the final frontier: in a blog post today, Richard Branson announced that his commercial space company, Virgin Galactic, will accept Bitcoin for trips into space.
“Virgin Galactic is one of the universe’s most exciting, futuristic companies. Bitcoin, the virtual currency, has really captured the imagination recently as one of the world’s most innovative businesses looking to the future. So we think it is about time Virgin Galactic customers can choose to pay with bitcoins,” Branson wrote.
Branson also revealed in the post that one future Virgin Galactic astronaut from Hawaii has already paid for a seat in Bitcoin, and stated that he expects “many more to follow in her footsteps.”
Virgin Galactic space flights will take its paying customers into space on suborbital flights on its SpaceShipTwo and future spaceships. The first flight into space is expected to occur next year. Richard Branson and his children, Holly and Sam, will be the first astronauts the company takes into space. Their flight will be televised for NBC’s TODAY show.
In his post, Richard Branson expressed his fascination with Bitcoins and explained some of the reasoning behind his decision to have Virgin Galactic accept the virtual currency.
“I have invested in some bitcoins myself, and find it fascinating how a whole new global currency has been created,” he wrote. “For people who can afford to invest a little in bitcoins, it’s worth looking into.”
“Virgin Galactic is a company looking into the future, so is Bitcoin. So it makes sense we would offer Bitcoin as a way to pay for your journey to space,” he continued. “A lot of the people who have joined Bitcoin are tech-minded people, as are many of our current future astronauts. We would be delighted to welcome more of the Bitcoin community as future astronauts.”
A seat on a Virgin Galactic flight currently costs $250,000. As of this writing, that means a trip into space will cost a Bitcoin investor about 322.5 Bitcoins.