Virgin Galactic, billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson’s commercial space travel venture will accept the digital currency Bitcoin for payments, founder Richard Branson told CNBC today.

The venture accepted its first Bitcoin payment from a flight attendant in Hawaii, Branson told the television network, adding the currency was transferred into dollars, so the payment was a fixed amount that could be refunded later if the buyer changes her mind about traveling to space.

Branson, who also invests in the virtual currency, told the network, “Virgin Galactic is a bold entrepreneurial technology. It's driving a revolution. And Bitcoin is doing just the same when it comes to inventing a new currency.”

PayPal has also set its sights on space, and launched its PayPal Galactic initiative in June to determine the payments needs of space tourists. Separately, PayPal president David Marcus has said the company considered whether to support Bitcoin as a funding instrument for PayPal accounts.

Bitcoin has grown dramatically over the past year, and regulators have recently taken a more cooperative stance toward the virtual currency in the U.S.

Branson has also invested in Square and Clinkle, the pending mobile payments product that reportedly uses high frequency sound to handle payments. 

Subscribe Now

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the payments industry

14-Day Free Trial

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the industry