Richard Branson, perhaps the most involved billionaire in Bitcoin, has stated that, at present, he thinks “Bitcoin is working as a currency”.
Speaking on Bloomberg TV about the latest developments in his Virgin Galactic space program, Branson candidly rebuffed presenter Trish Regan’s mildly mocking question regarding Bitcoin’s current potential.
There will be other currencies like it that may be even better, but in the meantime, there’s a big industry around Bitcoin
This latter remark is hardly surprising given Branson’s support of Bitcoin startups such as Bitpay, as well as banking alternatives such money transfer service TransferWise in addition to his own projects. However, it is his apparent faith in Bitcoin’s autonomy which will no doubt strike a pleasing chord with the community.
September is indeed turning out to be a generally supportive month for digital currency. Following an unexpected downswing, continued testing of lows in the Bitcoin price are not widely expected, while the fortunes of Dogecoin following its sustained loss of value have also been widely publicized.
Apple’s announcement of mobile payments, which were once thought to be a potential serious burden to Bitcoin propagation, has furthermore not been as destructive to sentiment as it had been feared. This was due in no small part to the system’s reliance upon banking access, which a large number of device users still do not have.
Nonetheless, there is still a sense of unease coming from within the framework itself. CoinTelegraph reported last week on core developer Mike Hearn’s remarks that from a technical perspective, Bitcoin is “fragile”, and that those who “overtly champion” Bitcoin’s capabilities are, in other words, reminiscent of the blind leading the blind. This could well result in a question of how to safely integrate Bitcoin with the mass market which the industry has come to believe in.
In response to what he will do with Bitcoin funds gained from customer payments for Virgin Galactic flights, Branson meanwhile had no illusions. “Whether I keep the 50 bitcoins or not is another matter,” he hinted.
Flights on Branson’s rocket-fuelled tourist venture are due to commence early next year, with tickets costing around US$250,000 per person.
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