Jason Del Rey

Recent Posts by Jason Del Rey

Some Flight Attendant Just Paid Richard Branson 350 Bitcoins to Become an Astronaut

richard branson

In today’s version of billionaire Richard Branson doing whatever he wants, the founder of the Virgin empire announced on his blog that his commercial space travel company, Virgin Galactic, is now accepting bitcoins as payment for flights into space.

“Bitcoin, the virtual currency, has really captured the imagination recently as one of the world’s most innovative businesses looking to the future,” the blog post reads. “So we think it is about time Virgin Galactic customers can choose to pay with bitcoins.”

The post goes on to say that “a female flight attendant from Hawaii” is the first Galactic customer to pay for a flight into space using bitcoins.

A spokeswoman said she couldn’t disclose whether the flight attendant works for Virgin America. But she did say that the woman paid the full $250,000 fare in bitcoins — 350 of them in total. (Right now, that amounts to about $253,000 in bitcoins according to the bitcoin price index operated by the trade publication CoinDesk.)

The company will use bitcoin processor Bitpay, as well as others, to process future bitcoin payments, should there be any, the spokeswoman said.

On one hand, the announcement can be viewed as a nice little marketing stunt for Branson’s space travel company, which is expected to launch its first commercial flight next year.

But Branson has also shown a real interest in next-generation payments companies in the past; he’s an investor in Jack Dorsey’s Square, as well as stealth payments startup Clinkle.


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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google