A Bitcoin first: Digital currency buys a baby

Fertility treatments can cost thousands of dollars, but one family paid for those medical bills with the electronic money.

By Aimee Picchi Jun 10, 2013 12:42PM

Credit: © luismmolina/E+/Getty ImagesBitcoins can buy a lot of things -- from porn to a Domino's Pizza (DPZ) pie. Now you can add a baby to that list. 

One couple paid for a frozen embryo transfer cycle in Bitcoins, leading to what Dr. C. Terence Lee describes as the first baby "bought with Bitcoins," CNNMoney reports. 

Lee, a California fertility specialist, is an early pioneer in the Bitcoin economy, and he has a sign posted on his clinic door that notifies patients he accepts the digital currency as well as Visa (V) and MasterCard (MA). 

So far, while Bitcoins have grabbed headlines, it remains a rather hard-to-grasp concept for many. You can buy Bitcoins on sites such as Mt.Gox, but you can also "mine" them online, as MSN moneyNOW's Kim Peterson wrote in April.

Perhaps the biggest reason the currency has gained attention is its volatile pricing, with Bitcoins fetching over $200 at one point in April. The currency is trading at about $100 per Bitcoin so far in June. 

"I thought it was interesting -- people supporting it as a way for the common man to take back hold of finance," Lee told CNNMoney. "I was like, 'OK, let me support them.' And then I became part of them."

Lee said he was determined to find a patient who would pay with Bitcoins, he said at a recent conference about the currency. Fertility treatments don't come cheap. Some couples can spend tens of thousands of dollars in pursuit of conceiving a baby.

Lee's first step was to put an ad up on Reddit, offering a "male fertility evaluation" for 15 Bitcoins, which at the time was the equivalent of $75. Eventually he found a couple who agreed to pay for their embryo transfer at a discounted rate of $1,000 with Bitcoins. The doctor even helped them find an exchange service to create the transaction and fund it. 

The couple's treatment worked, leading to their healthy baby. And Lee ended up making a tidy profit, given that the 30 Bitcoins he earned from the agreement are now worth about $3,600.

Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi

More on moneyNOW

Jun 10, 2013 1:28PM
Bitcoins sound like a good idea but the problem is that there are already untold numbers of politicians and bureaucrats looking for ways to shut it down.
Jun 11, 2013 3:46PM

It is legal by U.S. law for anyone to establish a currency or system of exchange. It cannot resemble the currency approved by the U.S. Treasury. All currencies and exchange systems are a matter of trust and many have come to realize in the U.S. that the F.R.S. is a betrayal of the people, but we are stuck with it, as there is no other system available. That could change. The last time it was done in mass in this country was the Confederate currency. The F.R.S. is relatively modern and the laws establishing it have been greatly manipulated to benefit a few, like many other laws of late such as privatization of basic needs such as fuel, water, utilities, etc.. They touted that Iraqi Oil belonged to the Iraqi people but our oil is owned by a few who profit greatly from it. Funny how that works. Even worse is the privatization of water and utilities so we are at their mercy and they profit greatly off basic necessities we must all have. In the Bible in Genesis, the lord gave mankind free food source for animals and mankind, now a few have raised their thrones to be like god, but they falsely accuse Satan of this, and claim ownership of it and make a huge profit from it while the many suffer. His day of reckoning is appointed and it will come. Even now the water source is more and more poisoned as is told by the prophet Jeremiah.


F.R.S. is a public corporation owned mostly by F.D.I.C. banks and before Glass-Stiegel Act was undone by Clinton, no banks could dominate. Now that interstate banking is allowed and they can get involved with security exchange and insurance, outlawed under the original Federal Reserve Act, a few do dominate its ownership and board and that is why they could manipulate the bail out, another betrayal of the people. Most are just following their government and religious leaders blindly enjoying their toys and entertainment and do not realize how ultimately betrayed we are. We basically have given a few a credit card in our name and it will not end well. They are sticking the cash in their pockets, through government contracts, and we get the bill, which we don't have the means to pay.


The lord has warned that if you follow religious and government leaders blindly you will end up in the pit with them. A path that seems so right but the end is destruction. Governments and Religions of men, the beast and false prophet that bows to the serpent.

Jun 11, 2013 9:49AM
Jun 11, 2013 11:23AM
backcountry, if they want to try and shut it down, then THEY will be shut down and we will charge the survivors with numerous violations of the law and they will either be spending the rest of their lives in prison or we will utilize the death penalty on them, no exceptions.
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