Richard Branson-endorsed startup competition XTC has begun taking applications for its 2018 season, with the billionaire remaining an anchor judge.

The tech challenge, which this year included a dedicated Blockchain education workshop, concluded in February on Branson’s Necker Island.

“The process was fascinating; the contrasting teamwork, listening skills, intense passion all of this was demonstrated in all three of the finalists and that part of it was really exciting,” Jim Breyer, CEO of 2017 and 2018 event sponsor Breyer Capital, said of the event.

The event format this year will be broadly similar, taking in several qualifying rounds at the CES Las Vegas tech show before the final on Branson’s island.

The veteran entrepreneur is no stranger to Blockchain, the residence having previously hosted the industry-specific Blockchain Summit event in 2016.

Branson was upbeat in describing the proceedings:

“...Together with The Bitfury Group and MaiTai Global, key global influencers in technology, civil society, democracy promotion and innovation joined us on Necker for a set of riveting discussions about how the technology behind the Blockchain can drive positive change.”

Later in 2016, Branson also championed the impact of Blockchain on the global economy at Virgin Disruptors in London. Blockchain property management, in particular, came in for praise.