English business magnate Richard Branson has once again spoken about Bitcoin in a positive light, telling SKY Magazine it’s the beginning of something major in the financial world, albeit with some caveats.
The founder of Virgin previously gave his support for Bitcoin last year, when it was announced that Virgin Galactic, the space tourism start up (due to start flying in 2015), would be accepting Bitcoin as a payment method. Since then, at least half a dozen people have pre-ordered a Virgin Galactic space flight using Bitcoin (although Virgin admittedly converted straight into fiat money upon payment). The price for a single flight is $250,000.
Now Mr Branson has had more to say about Bitcoin, this time in the April edition of Delta’s SKY Magazine, claiming,
“It was a genius who set [Bitcoin] up… “It may not be the perfect global currency of the future yet, but it’s the pioneer of a global currency.”
Note his subtle reservations concerning Bitcoin in deeming it to be, whilst impressive, imperfect; which he further goes on to explain by saying transparency is an issue, since we don’t even know who the creator of Bitcoin is.
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Interestingly, he also talks about Bitcoin on his Virgin Galactic site,
“The lack of transparency from Bitcoin’s founders has attracted some criticism, but its open source nature means anyone can audit the code. It is a brilliantly conceived idea to allow users to power the peer-to-peer payment network themselves, providing control and freedom for consumers. Bitcoins aren’t yet formally recognized by governments as a currency but with some regulation I hope that it will become more widely accepted.”
However, there are some who are sceptical of Branson’s latest comments, with some Reddit members reckoning it’s more of a PR exercise; since for example, if he was that serious about Bitcoin, why is he limiting Virgin Galactic to Bitcoin payments – why not include other Virgin companies? Well, possibly Galactic is just the beginning, with some others eventually following suit.
Yet, whilst Branson is an admirer of Bitcoin, he feels the “perfect” global currency could come from someone else, such as Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, opining,
“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.”