Virgin Galactic made a splash last year when founder Sir Richard Branson announced the company would be accepting bitcoin as a means of payment for commercial space flights.
For the equivalent of $250,000 in digital currency, any bitcoin enthusiast could travel to the upper atmosphere and enjoy a few minutes of weightlessness.
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Sir Richard Branson announced earlier this year that “six or seven” people have used the digital currency to book their trips (compared to the other 500+ who have paid with fiat), but not many more since. In fact, not any.
“We’ve had no more since then,” said Virgin Galactic Commercial Director Stephen Attenborough to NEWSBTC, referring to the amount of bitcoin bookings since Branson’s last announcement.
But despite the waning interest in paying for a flight with digital currency, the option remains open.
“We like to be able to offer payment facilities which suit our customers’ preferences,” says Attenborough.
Some of the customers who have purchased their booking deposit with bitcoin include Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and a stewardess from Hawaii. The other few have not been named.
They join the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Lady Gaga, and even Justin Bieber, who are all scheduled to flight aboard a two-hour Galactic flight in the next year.
“Many of our customers are first adopters who have a natural interest in new ideas and technologies, so it made sense to make the bitcoin facility available,” Attenborough says. “We have been delighted that a few customers have already chosen the bitcoin payment option for their spaceflight deposits.”
With the first revenue flights scheduled to begin late this year (by company estimates, which are subject to change), the use of bitcoin for deposit booking could very well gain traction, particularly among those who have made a lot of money since bitcoin’s value began soaring in 2013.
“Time will tell to what extent this interest will grow,” says Attenborough.