Virgin Galactic is a company which will provide space flights for space tourists in future. They are now accepting bitcoin payments in order to purchase the ticket to space. Sir Richard Branson, founder and chairman of Virgin Group, discusses possible threats and risks for his company by accepting bitcoin.
Sir Richard Branson calls Bitcoin virtual currency “a new exciting currency”. Not only Virgin Galactic accepts bitcoin payments now, but their first customer, a flight attendant from Hawaii, has purchased a ticket to space flight with bitcoin. Branson also tells CNBC in interview that the woman, who purchased her space flight ticket with bitcoin, has made “quite lot of money getting into bitcoin early on.”
Friday, 22 Nov 2013 | 8:43 AM ET If there is a case, when the customer changes her mind on going to space in future, Virgin Galactic, would not have problems with paying her back, since they have transferred her bitcoin payment into actual dollars, so there is a fixed price, which she paid in dollars. Branson also states that, if Virgin Galactic did not have a refund policy, they would consider taking the risk on a pure bitcoin transaction.
Branson did the interview with CNBC on Friday from his private island, where his house is rebuilding after burning down two years ago. He says: “It’ rebuilt. It’s beautiful.” Branson also shortly tells about their progress, having 30 astronauts signed up for space trips.
Before the CNBC interview, Branson tweeted: Richard Branson ? @richardbranson
Follow Want to spend your #bitcoins? How about a ticket to space! Will discuss today live on @SquawkCNBC @virgingalactic 3:20 PM - 22 Nov 2013
The interview was held though Skype video connection and with a mobile phone for audio. Richard Branson stated that many bitcoin users would like to spend their bitcoin on purchasing tickets for space trip. He says that bitcoin is driving a revolution in inventing new currency, just like Virgin Galactic making a revolution in space travelling.
Branson believes that Bitcoin gives a sense of security, by being scarce and limited in number of bitcoins, whereas normal currencies can be printed by governments. Although, he admits that Bitcoin had its ups and downs, he thinks that one day bitcoin is going to settle on a specific price, which in his opinion will be higher that the price today.
In the interview, Richard Branson has also discussed a future opportunity of phone call during the flights.
Federal Communications Commission has been also thinking of this long- time limitation on calls and texting during the flights. Branson expressed his opinion in the interview, by stating that most probably there will be so called ‘talking cabins’ and ‘quiet cabins’, just like there used to be ‘smoking cabins’.
Branson added that seating prices will not differ from each other. He says: "On the Virgin, you pay the same good price on every seat."
Branson is convinced that “travelling orbitally around the world at 26,000 miles per hour” will definitely take place in future and he is hoping to see that in his lifetime. He says Virgin Galactic will eventually come to this solution.