In brief

  • Tyler Winklevoss paid 312.5 Bitcoin for a Virgin Galactic ticket to space.
  • The amount of Bitcoin would now be worth $3 million.
  • He describes this as his "Bitcoin pizza moment."

Talk about opportunity cost. In January 2014, Gemini co-founder Tyler Winklevoss bought a ticket on spaceflight company Virgin Galactic’s passenger-carrying ship for $250,000 with Bitcoin. At today’s prices, the ticket is now worth over $3 million.

And the trip still hasn’t been made.

The Winklevii are two of the biggest Bitcoin investors. Image: Shutterstock.

According to a weekly report shared with Decrypt by Bitcoin wallet Luno, Winklevoss paid 312.5 BTC ($250,000) for the ticket—when Bitcoin was trading at around $800 per coin.

The price of Bitcoin is now worth $9830, making the opportunity cost of buying the tickets much greater. Over the past six years, the price of the tickets has jumped 1174%.

This graph shows the value of the Bitcoin that Tyler Winklevoss paid for his ticket to space. Image: Luno.

Tyler Winklevoss has later reportedly described the ticket purchase as his “Bitcoin Pizza moment,” comparing it to the 10,000 BTC pizza purchase in 2010, which would be worth a whopping $97.5 million today.

Despite constant delays on several occasions since 2014, Virgin Galactic has already tested its spaceplane twice, flying it to the edge of space. On the back of this, its stock prices have seen a significant increase, surging 18% last week—reaching $34 per share. Compared to 2019, the stock is up about 190% year to date.

But the trip still hasn’t happened. The project has been delayed on a number of occasions and only carried a passenger for the first time in February 2019 during a test launch. Virgin Galactic aims to start sending people to space in the second half of this year.

The company will face some serious competition in the field of space tourism. SpaceX, founded by famous entrepreneur and engineer Elon Musk, has recently announced a partnership with Space Adventures aiming to launch private citizens into orbit by the end of 2021 or early 2022.

And it’s certainly ambitious: SpaceX’s lawyer said she would like to see 15 million SpaceX launches per year. And it could cost as low as $2 million. Tell that to Tyler Winklevoss.