Richard Branson believes in Bitcoin, and he's putting his money where his mouth is. The billionaire CEO has announced that his commercial space startup Virgin Galactic will now accept payment from future astronauts in the virtual currency.
"Virgin Galactic is a company looking into the future, so is Bitcoin," Branson writes in a blog post on the Virgin site. "So it makes sense we would offer Bitcoin as a way to pay for your journey to space."
Bitcoin is a semi-anonymous, decentralized digital currency built on an open source protocol that was released by a pseudonymous programmer in January 2009. It's captivated many fans because it allows for person-to-person payments without the fees typically charged by payments processors. Bitcoin is now accepted by organizations including Wordpress and Reddit, but Branson is arguably the highest-profile businessman to endorse the currency.
"Virgin Galactic is a company looking into the future."
Branson has also invested in Bitcoin himself, he revealed, throwing in a little of the boosterism typical of the currency's speculators. "For people who can afford to invest a little in bitcoins, it’s worth looking into," he writes.