Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/11/22/when_hot_cash_meets_a_vacuum_virgin_galactic_takes_bitcoin/

Stewardess first to book $250k Virgin Galactic 'space trip' with BITCOINS

We'll now take the crypto-currency, beams beardy Brit billionaire Branson

By Jack Clark

Posted in Business, 22nd November 2013 18:46 GMT

Brit entrepreneur Richard Branson's space-faring venture Virgin Galactic will now accept Bitcoins.

In a grainy Skype call from his idyllic Necker Island paradise, the multi-platform mogul told CNBC today that his high-altitude zoom-zoom firm would let people pay for their lifts in bitcoin.

"Why not?" he said. "It's a new exciting currency. A lot of people who got into Bitcoin quite early on have made quite a lot of money and are already interested in going to space."

A bitcoin is currently trading for around $763, versus $10 at the start of the year. You'll need to pony up $250,000, or 327.7 BTC, to spend about 10 minutes weightless on the edge of space.

The first customer to have paid in Bitcoins is a stewardess in Hawaii "who made quite a lot of money by getting into Bitcoin early on," Branson said.

Branson has confidence that Bitcoin will go higher, as the systems controlling the crypto-currency limit the total amount of Bitcoins in circulation. This prevents the money printing (excuse us, "quantitative easing") that central banks indulge in to doom subsequent generations to crippling inflation ("stabilize markets").

"I think one day [Bitcoin] will settle at a price that will be higher than the prices it's at today," the beardie billionaire said. However, upon receiving the stewardess's funny money, Virgin Galactic did immediately transfer it into clammy, green US dollars, he said.

US politicians are holding hearings into the crypto-currency, and some have publicly fretted that Bitcoin wallets may "replace the Swiss bank account." Watch out, future Virgin Galactic space cadets, your next space buddy may be Keyser Söze. ®