Richard Branson: ‘Banking as we know it is in the midst of enormous change and innovation’

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We reported Tuesday that bitcoin payment processor, BitPay, garnered an enormous $30 million in series-A startup funding. The investment funds came from a variety of investors, including Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson and Yahoo’s co-founder Jimmy Yang, and the money will expand software development and enhance tools for its internal staff members.

Soon after the funding made headlines, Branson issued a statement on the matter, which was obtained by the Business Insider. The statement isn’t shocking, but it does prove that Branson, despite the wave of bad news bitcoin has garnered over the past couple of months, is sticking with the digital currency.

“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,” stated Branson. “Bitpay 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.”

It remains unclear as to how much Branson invested in BitPay, which maintains some well-known clients, such as mobile gaming company Zynga and Branson’s Virgin Galactic.

Indeed, many do believe that the traditional banking system is in trouble. Digital banking remains to be on lists of top innovations to reshape both the industry and the planet. Technology enthusiasts have been public that they are more interested in bitcoin’s technology capabilities rather than serving as a currency function that would take on the United States dollar, euro or Japanese yen.

Nevertheless, Branson was one of the first mainstream adopters of the peer-to-peer decentralized virtual currency. Last year, he sent shockwaves throughout the business community by announcing that Virgin Galactic would be permitting its customers to pay for their tickets in bitcoins – one ticket comes with a price-tag of $250,000 and seven people have already paid with bitcoins.

Last month, Branson said in an interview with Delta’s SKY Magazine that the creator of bitcoin is a “genius” and that the digital currency is a technological breakthrough. Although he admitted that there are some flaws, like transparency, he still believes “it’s the pioneer of a global currency.”

Reiterating what others have said before him, Branson explained that the future will establish a successful and transparent digital payments system that would likely be developed by someone like Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, and his Square firm, a company that specializes in making credit and debit card transactions simpler.

Coinbuzz

CoinBuzz provides news and analysis on Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Founded in 2014, the site has quickly become a leading source of information on digital currency technologies, businesses, markets, and regulation.

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