28 September 2016

Winklevoss twins pay bitcoins for Virgin Galactic space trip

05 March 2014  |  3707 views  |  0 Winklevoss-Branson

Zuckerberg-baiters Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss are handing over some of their bitcoin fortune to Richard Branson for a trip on his Virgin Galactic spacecraft.

The Winklevoss twins are most famous for their legal tangles with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, the subject of Hollywood blockbuster the Social Network.

In recent years they have turned their attention to bitcoin, snapping up millions of dollars in the crypto-currency and applying to the SEC for the launch of a related investment fund. And, despite its recent MT. Gox-related travails, Cameron Winklevoss told the New York Times last week that the twins remain committed.

Nevertheless, they have offloaded a significant chunk of their stash to fellow publicity-chaser Branson in exchange for suborbital spaceflights.

In a stirring blog post invoking Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus and Edmund Hillary, the brothers explain that: "Humans have a long tradition of exploring and forging new frontiers, both physically and metaphorically."

The pair are not the first to pay for a Virgin Galactic flight with bitcoin - Branson revealed in November that a "female flight attendant from Hawaii" bought her ticket with the currency.

The cash price of a two hour trip with six minutes of weightlessness is $250,000. Stephen Hawking, Katy Perry and Brad Pitt are among those to have forked out, although when they will fly is unclear, with the timeline for commercial flights already extended several times.

Tyler Winklevoss is convinced it will be worth the wait: "I am thankful that the desire to build beyond what we have inherited and push beyond our own preconceived barriers, are fundamental human traits, and when realised, engender the truest sense of accomplishment."

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