Virgin Galactic adds Bitcoin for space tickets

Virgin Galactic has jumped on the Bitcoin train, with founder Richard Branson announcing it will accept the topical virtual currency for tickets on its space flights. According to Branson, at least one Virgin Galactic early-adopter has paid for her ticket for an upcoming flight in Bitcoins, and the outspoken exec says there are obvious parallels between the currency and his space business.

"Bitcoins aren't yet formally recognized by governments as a currency but with some regulation I hope that it will become more widely accepted" Branson writes. "A few years ago many people had doubts about whether Virgin Galactic would ever get off the ground."

Branson has also invested in "some" of the currency himself, and points to a recent US Senate committee which decided the Bitcoin system was a legitimate financial service. "A lot of the people who have joined Bitcoin are tech-minded people," he concludes, "as are many of our current future astronauts."

It's not the only way that Bitcoin is working itself into modern life. Earlier this week, a university announced it would accept the currency.

Not every headline mention has been so positive, however. Bitcoin was the payment type of choice at the notorious Silk Road, and an estimated $3.6m-worth was seized when federal investigators shut down the clandestine bazaar.

Virgin Galactic's first test flight took place in April this year.