​Bitcoin Baby From Frozen Embryo Transfer Cycle​​

June 11, 2021

Paid by a bitcoin, it’s the first baby to be born thanks to a frozen embryo transfer cycle, Dr. C. Terence Lee, a fertility specialist based in Brea, Calif., says it’s the first time he’s aware of that anyone has paid for fertility treatments that way.

Bitcoin Baby

The baby is the biggest — and definitely the cutest — victory yet for Lee in his campaign to persuade his patients to pay him for his services with bitcoins, the experimental digital currency that caught Wall Street’s attention recently when its trading price shot up.

There are 11 million bitcoins in circulation right now with a collective “market value” of around $1.4 billion. You can spend bitcoins online at shops like BitcoinStore.com, but they’re not exactly a mainstream currency for everyday transactions.

Lee would love to change that. He’s 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.

The sign alone hasn’t generated any business, Lee admits.

“We see 10 to 40 patients a day, and nobody even bothered to ask what the sign meant,” he said in recent presentation at Bitcoin 2013, a conference dedicated to the fledgling currency.

So Lee escalated. Determined to find a patient willing to pay him in bitcoins, Lee put an ad up on Reddit last year offering a “male fertility evaluation” — basically, a sperm test — in return for 15 bitcoins, which at the time were worth around $5 each.

The customer who finally took up the offer didn’t actually care about his sperm count, Lee said. He just wanted to participate in what may have been the world’s first bitcoin-funded medical transaction.

Lee is something of an accidental Bitcoin evangelist. An ob/gyn with a geeky streak, he came across Bitcoin around a year ago while poking around on the Internet. The community’s passion drew him in.