It's an Internet trifecta: Bitcoin, the Winklevoss twins, and outer space. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, of Facebook and now cryptocurrency fame, are buying two tickets to space on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic private shuttle with their bitcoin loot. The brothers announced the news on their blog, comparing themselves to previous explorers Marco Polo, Vasco da Gama, and Yuri Gagarin.
As we embark on the 21st century, however, the face of exploration has taken on a new look. Grand expeditions and financial systems once commissioned and shaped by the likes of Ferdinand and Isabella, president John F. Kennedy and delegates at Bretton Woods, are now done so by brave citizen entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Sir Richard Branson and Satoshi Nakamoto. …
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.
Tyler and Cameron will become astronauts number 700 and 701 on the passenger list, joining Ashton Kutcher, Angelina Jolie, Katy Perry, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Russell Brand – who have all reportedly signed up as well. The price? $250,000 each or as CNN calculates, about 375 bitcoins.
For those who need a refresher: The brothers have a history with bitcoin. Last year they announced plans to create a bitcoin-related investment fund with the aim of bringing the volatile digital currency to Wall Street. The fund, however, is still pending regulatory approval. More recently, the two set up the aptly named bitcoin price tracker Winkdex.
Elsewhere in Slate: Did the “Bitcoin CEO” Just Commit Suicide? Not So Fast.