This week, Bitcoin got a (rocket) boost when Sir Richard Branson announced that his company Virgin Galactic will accept the digital currency as payment for space flights. "While the world of travel is rapidly advancing, the world of payments is changing fast too," Branson wrote in a blog post Friday. "Sometime in the future, innovative payment models such as Square, Clinkle and Bitcoin will become serious challengers to traditional banks, which will spur more competition and give customers even more options."
At this point, trying to pay for your groceries or restaurant bills with Bitcoins will generally just get you funny looks (or a spot as a dishwasher until you earn the value of your meal). But it does seem that more and more businesses are coming to the same conclusion as Branson. It is currently possible to pay for everything from university tuition (at a school in Cyprus) to a Subway sandwich (at one franchise location in Allentown, Pennsylvania) with Bitcoins. Odds are that list will just keep growing as the public's familiarity and comfort level with the digital currency increases.
So forward-looking kids, send a memo to the tooth fairy: Shiny coins under the pillow are quaint, but if you really want to give me something useful, send a little something to my Bitcoin wallet. We'll both save on bank fees, and I promise to bring you back something nice from space.
ALSO ON HUFFPOST: