Winklevoss Twins' Space Trip Funded Entirely With Bitcoins

Thursday, 06 Mar 2014 02:26 PM

By Michael Mullins

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The Winklevoss twins are going to space, courtesy of a $250,000 payment to Virgin Galactic that they paid for entirely in bitcoins — the controversial decentralized digital currency in which the Winkevosses have invested substantially.

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who famously accused Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg of stealing their idea, said they used bitcoins to buy tickets for a high-altitude voyage on billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic commercial spaceflight venture.

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"Cameron and I have decided to use our bitcoin to take the plunge, or rather propulsion, into space," Tyler Winklevoss wrote on the twins' Winklevoss Capital blog on Wednesday. "Why? Because Bitcoin and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic are two technologies that meaningfully represent our focus at Winklevoss Capital — the reduction of pain-points and friction in an effort to build a better world."

"It is in this vein that Cameron and I contemplate our tickets into space — as seed capital supporting a new technology that may forever change the way we travel, purchased with a new technology that may forever change the way we transact," Winklevoss added.

The Winklevoss twins reportedly own approximately 40,000 bitcoins, which is equivalent to about $27 million, Entrepreneur.com reported.

The twins are not the first to sign up for Virgin Galactic using bitcoins, but it is the highest-profile flight booking to date using the currency. Last November, Branson announced that a flight attendant from Hawaii had become the first person to pay for a seat with bitcoins.

According to Virgin Galactic, the company’s first space flight is expected to take place in the second half of this year, and will include Branson and his family on board, CNN Money reported.

Tyler Winklevoss subsequently posted on Twitter that he and his brother are officially Virgin Galactic "astronauts" 700 and 701, Entrepreneur.com noted.

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