Bitcoin Is Taking the Winklevoss Twins 'to the Moon'

By CCN Markets: The Winklevoss twins, Tyler and Cameron, playfully bragged that bitcoin is taking them to space — literally.

Tyler Winklevoss reminded crypto fans that five years ago, he and his brother used bitcoin to pay for a trip aboard billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic SpaceshipTwo.

Tyler tweeted:

"In January 2014, I bought a ticket to space on Virgin Galactic with bitcoin. The price of 1 BTC was $800. I won't make that mistake again. I was reminded of this while sending a copy of 'Bitcoin Billionaires' to my friend Richard Branson. #ToTheMoon"

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The Winklevoss twins used bitcoin to book a flight on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic spaceship. | Source: Twitter

Winklevii Paid $250,000 in Bitcoin for Space Flight

After years of testing to make commercial flights possible, Branson says his SpaceShipTwo could finally be ready to make its maiden voyage before year-end 2019, SpaceNews reported. Naturally, the Winklevoss twins will be among the first passengers since they booked their flight five years ago.

In 2014, Tyler and Cameron paid $250,000 in bitcoin to rocket 60 miles above the Earth. At the time, the bitcoin price hovered at $800. This means the Winklevii gave Branson roughly 312 bitcoin.

Using today's bitcoin price of $9,500, the Winklevoss twins paid about $2.9 million for their space trip. But they're not complaining, although an exact date for the voyage has not been set.

When they first booked their space flights, Tyler and Cameron explained why they took the plunge on their blog.

"Cameron and I have decided to use our bitcoin to take the plunge, or rather propulsion, into space. 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."

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In 2014, the Winklevoss twins paid $250,000 in bitcoin to buy seats aboard Richard Branson's spaceship. | Source: Winklevoss Capital

Twins: Space Travel Pushes Boundaries, Just Like Bitcoin

Moreover, Tyler and Cameron explained that they bought tickets on Branson's then-untested spaceship as a sign of confidence in a new technology as mankind continues to push the boundaries.

At the time, they lauded "courageous entrepreneurs" like Richard Branson for being so forward-thinking that they dare to "achieve the unachievable." The Winklevoss twins compared space exploration to the innovative technology behind bitcoin, which they believe is the wave of the future.

"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. Since their inceptions, Bitcoin and Virgin Galactic have been writing the next chapter in our history books."

Winklevoss Twins Are Crypto Pioneers

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss were among the earliest adopters of bitcoin. They have been tireless champions for the crypto industry.

Not only did they launch their own cryptocurrency exchange, Gemini, but they were the first to submit a bitcoin ETF application to the SEC.

Like true pioneers, the Winklevoss twins experienced numerous failures alongside their successes. As CCN reported, the SEC twice rejected the brothers' bitcoin ETF applications (in 2017 and again in 2018). But their early trial balloons are paving the way for eventual SEC approval — either for themselves or for someone else.

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The billionaire Winklevoss twins embrace regulation of the crypto industry. | Source: Twitter

Tyler and Cameron were also among the first crypto entrepreneurs to vocally embrace regulatory scrutiny. In May 2018, the Winklevoss twins applauded the SEC's crackdowns on crypto cons and sham ICOs, saying targeted regulation is actually good for the budding market.

“These technologies can’t flourish and grow without thoughtful regulation that connects them to finance,” Tyler Winklevoss said. “As long as jurisdictions strike the right balance, we think that it’s going to be a huge boon and win for cryptocurrencies.”

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About the author

Samantha Chang
Samantha Chang

Samantha Chang is a New York City-based financial editor who writes about crypto and business at CCN. She is a law school grad and an alum of the University of Pennsylvania. Email her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at Samantha_Chang.