In the wake
of BitPay’s success in raising
a record $30 million in a financing round led by venture capital group, Richard
Branson, who took part as an investor with an undisclosed amount, released a
statement on his stake in BitPay:
“Banking as we know it is in the
midst of enormous change and innovation. We have jumped in by investing in
alternative payment models and also by accepting Bitcoin for tickets on Virgin
Galactic, the world’s
first commercial spaceline.
has proven itself to process Bitcoin safely and reliably, growing the market
and increasing adoption, which continues to build trust, legitimacy and
momentum in this exciting currency revolution.”
hard to overlook BitPay’s impressive surge since it was
the $100,000,000 amount in Bitcoin transactions processed and over 30,000
merchants worldwide. It has also jumped ahead of the money wiring service
giant, Western Union, back in November by the transaction volume processed.
BitPay already have an established partnership. Last year, Branson’s
company, Virgin Galactic, announced he'd begun accepting Bitcoin with BitPay as
the processor. The outspoken entrepreneur also recently conceded
that Bitcoin does have its drawbacks. Nevertheless, he admitted that whoever
invented the idea of a decentralized, P2P currency was a “genius”.
no secret that many people are becoming disillusioned with traditional banking
and finance as the idea of paying substantial fees for the privilege of using
banking services are becoming less and less attractive to regular citizens.
Compare this with Bitcoin, which allows users to receive and send money to any
place on earth instantly and almost without any friction.
many have criticized Branson for using Bitcoin as yet another PR tool, it is
getting increasingly difficult to support this argument in light of his recent
stake in BitPay. So perhaps the only question remains is whether Sir Richard
Branson is a true believer in the nascent technology or whether he is simply
diversifying his investment portfolio.
“While he is an individual,
Richard surely carriers some weight; so his demonstration of support of Bitcoin
is very helpful in furthering the positive development of Bitcoin. By putting
actual cash into one Bitcoin startup with the largest fundraising so far in the
market he lends even more gravity to it.
As far as banks go, I could
not agree more. As I said recently on the panel at the Munich Venture Summit
this month, banking is evolving, and the freedom of choice given with the last
disruptive technology (free interaction in communication via the internet)
cannot be taken away again. What sparked and allowed to happen the Arab Spring
as one example, will similarly allow "the people" globally to have
choices in how they transfer funds individually around the globe in one
currency, without regulation, interference (Argentina), or huge costs.”
Thomas J. Ackerman (on the right)