Five Crazy Things To Buy With Bitcoin

From Panamanian restaurants to space travel - what bitcoin can buy you

Virgin Spaceflight

Bitcoins have been used to buy everything from illegal drugs through to alpaca socks. People have sold luxury yachts in exchange for the virtual currency. What else could you buy with this exciting form of digital money? Here are five ideas.

A Spaceflight

Virgin Galactic is Richard Branson’s most ambitious venture yet. The company, which is still working on its spaceflight offering, will send passengers into space aboard SpaceShipTwo, a rocket powered spacecraft that is carried to an altitude 50,000 feet by conventional aircraft before beginning its second stage.

Moving at 3 ½ times the speed of sound, the craft will travel more than 62 miles above the earth’s surface, giving the passengers the wobbly, weightless and detached feeling that you’d naturally expect if you’d just parted with $250,000. The company announced in November 2013 that it would accept that value in bitcoins for a ticket.

Real Estate

Bitcoin tends to be a magnet for people selling exotic real estate in various parts of the world. Over at luxury site BitPremier, listings at the time of writing included a vineyard in southwestern France (yours for just 7027 bitcoins), or a mountain reserve in Costa Rica (6632 bitcoins). A Panamanian restaurant, plenty of luxury villas, and ranches are also up for grabs. If you just fancy a simple five-bedroom house in London, you can grab one of those too.

A College Degree

Given the panic over its economy, you’d be forgiven for thinking that businesses in Cyprus would take bitcoin payments for just about anything.

Its financial sector collapsed in 2013, throwing it into a deep recession. However, that isn’t the reason that the University of Nicosia decided to accept bitcoin for tuition payments.

The University has thrown its weight wholeheartedly behind digital currencies, launching the first MSC program in digital currency in spring 2014.

We’re not sure if student loan bodies would send you bitcoin instead of fiat money to pay for it, though.

Pizza

Yes, you can buy pizza with bitcoin, although you probably wouldn’t find it as expensive as Laszlo Hanyecz did. Back in May 2010, just a year or so after bitcoin began, he felt hungry. He offered 10,000 bitcoins on popular forum Bitcoin Talk for someone to order him “a couple of pizzas… like maybe 2 large ones so I have some left over for the next day.  I like having left over pizza to nibble on later.”

Well, who doesn’t? Although it turned out to be an expensive decision. At the time of writing, with bitcoin worth around $226, that equates to $1.13m per pizza. Or you could pick one up from PizzaForCoins for a little less.

Your Own Satellite

$1m in bitcoins (4,444 bitcoins at the time of writing) will buy you a 10cm x 10cm cube of spaceborne electronics, courtesy of Dunvegan Space Systems. The BitSat satellite will be launched into space, and will do your bidding. The primary objective of the satellite is to serve as a space-based bitcoin node, beaming the latest version of the blockchain to earth.

The $1m buys you the equipment and the space launch, offering you a turnkey solution for getting your satellite into earth.

Dunvegan Space Systems would really like to see your BitSat used for beaming bitcoin data to earth, but the bitcoin component is optional, according to the listing on BitPremier.

Strange things for sale in bitcoin will come and go, and this time next year, the list could be entirely different. Sometimes, accepting bitcoin is a great way to garner PR for a new venture – but over time, as bitcoin becomes more readily accepted, people will stop accepting the virtual currency purely for the wow factor.

Accepting bitcoin will be just like accepting any other form of fiat money. For now, though, saying ‘we take bitcoin’ especially when you’re the first to sell a particular item or service for it – is sure to generate a little buzz.