The world’s first Bitcoin baby is here, made possible by fertility treatments paid for in the emerging and controversial form of digital currency.
The Bitcoin baby is actually one of a few resulting from a California Ob-Gyn’s fascination with Bitcoin and its marketplace potential.
But now we have one tiny, smiling face to put to the name “Bitcoin baby,” and Dr. C. Terence Lee of Brea announces proudly that the tot isn’t the only Bitcoin baby in his practice.
Lee is a fertility specialist who wryly states that the “baby was bought with Bitcoins,” further explaining that the frozen embryo transfer cycle resulting in the child’s arrival was paid for with the alternative measure. (And, we should note, not the baby itself.)
A profile notes that Lee is an “early pioneer in the Bitcoin retail economy, and a sign on his clinic door advertises his accepted forms of electronic payment: Visa, MasterCard, or Bitcoin.” While he says the sign hasn’t brought in any Bitcoin users, Reddit led him to a couple seeking fertility treatment and able to pay with the alternative currency.
“We see 10 to 40 patients a day, and nobody even bothered to ask what the sign meant.”
After transacting with a Reddit user to examine his sperm count in exchange for Bitcoin, Lee says that he was determine to use his interest and practice to introduce the world’s first Bitcoin baby.
“I thought it was interesting — people supporting it as a way for the common man to take back hold of finance … I was like, ‘OK, let me support them.’ And then I became part of them.”
But it seems patients were not as interested in becoming parents to a Bitcoin baby, and Lee jokes:
“In some cases they reacted like I said I wanted to be paid in vials of crack cocaine … They said, ‘Dr. Lee, we don’t understand this Bitcoin thing,’ but bless their hearts, they were willing to play along out of loyalty. I offered them a 50% discount.”
Lee hints the Bitcoin baby isn’t the only successful result of the currency’s use in his practice.