Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson is considered one of the world’s most successful–and visionary–businessmen. Turns out he’s also a fan of Bitcoin and thinks that cryptocurrency is the future of international monetary transfer. Branson was interviewed in the April issue of the Delta Airlines in-flight magazine SKY and was asked about a variety of topics, including Bitcoin. On its creation Branson opined:
Branson went on to suggest that a liability with Bitcoin is its transparency, among other things, but that it’s clearly a pioneer in the future of global currency:
“It may not be the perfect global currency of the future yet, but it’s the pioneer of a global currency.” Branson thinks that a digital payment format could come from someone very well known to the world business community–as opposed to the elusive Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto. He mentions the name of Jack Dorsey, Twitter co-founder who now runs online payment services company Square. Square recently added Bitcoin as a payment option along side of Visa and Mastercard:
“He’s the kind that’s more likely to come up with the currency of the future that would be completely transparent. Maybe using the Virgin Money brand.” Branson made news last year when he announced that his latest project–a space travel enterprise called Virgin Galactic–would accept Bitcoin as payment for short flights into space. At the time he wrote in an announcement of the move:
“All of our future astronauts are pioneers in their own right. Bitcoins in space. This is one more way to be forward-looking.” Each flight is priced at at approximately $250,000 US or about 500 BTC at current exchange rates. Branson hopes that as the process becomes more streamlined that the price can be reduced to around $100,000 per flight. The exact date of the start of flights is still up in the air–Branson’s group is still working out the technology and will then need to get the appropriate FAA approval–but reportedly around 680 customers have already signed up. Tentatively the plan is to launch test flights later this year with Branson and his children as the first passengers.