The Richard Branson/ Blockchain Connection

Richard Branson

By Cindy Taylor/Publisher

So last night, my husband and I were out for an after-dinner cocktail in Buckhead, and in walks Richard Branson.  You might wonder what he was doing in Atlanta, as did I, until I was reminded that ATL-based Delta Airlines owns a 49% share in his Virgin Atlantic Airlines, and no doubt he was in town to chat with the airline’s management team.

But I digress.  Over he walks past our seats, and I stand up and say “Hi Richard, I love you,” as I’m standing next to my husband.  He laughed, shook my hand and moved on.  NOW, in retrospect, I completely blanked on asking for a selfie, let alone a quick chat with him on BLOCKCHAIN, which I SHOULD HAVE done since I am a publisher of a financial technology website that extensively covers the topic, and I’m extra lucky my (super wonderful!) husband (who will no doubt be reading this) is so used to my gregarious personality.

You see, Richard Branson is heavily vested in Blockchain – as in the company by the same name – which has over 25 million digital wallets in use, according to their website.  Branson participated in a $40M funding round for the firm in mid-2017 along with Lightspeed Ventures, GV (formerly known as Google Ventures) and others.

At the time, the Series B round represented “the most substantial investment in the fintech space since Brexit and is the largest Series B raised by any digital currency company to date,” according to CEO Peter Smith in the firm’s blog in June 2017.

Separately, Branson has also previously hosted the Blockchain Summit at his Necker Island retreat, but you’ll recall that the estate suffered catastrophic damage during last year’s hurricane season.  For 2018, Branson will continue to host the event but at his Moroccan oasis, the Kasbah Tamadot (in July), and the event will continue to be sponsored by Bitfury along with venture capitalist Bill Tai.

According to the summit’s website, the invite-only event “is a gathering place for tech experts, world leaders and global changemakers to discuss the applications of blockchain technology for good.”

Wish I had thought to ask Sir Richard for an interview for our #BlockchainProfiles section and see what he has up his sleeve for the blockchain space next, but next time I bump into him, I’ll be ready!  Unless I fall star struck again.