This May, Sir Richard Branson, a Virgin Group founder, is going to hold the Blockchain Summit on Necker Island, his 74-acre private island in the British Virgin Islands, to discuss the future of Bitcoin, Blockchain and digital currency as a whole.
The opening line on the Blockchain Summit website reads as follows:
“We are gathering top thinkers in the world of Blockchain, Digital Currency and Bitcoin to help DEFINE THE FUTURE. Come visit with Sir Richard Branson on his private island for a set of intimate discussions highlighting critical issues and solutions and to lay out the framework for a world where the humankind is fully benefiting from the amazing technology behind the Blockchain.”
However, Bitcoin enthusiasts shared negative thoughts about the event on Reddit. A user named Pennyservices commented:
“Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss… Groups of millionaires and billionaires meeting Davos style to determine what is best for Bitcoin doesn’t sound particularly decentralised. Unlike most people here, beardy Branson owns a bank. I am still hoping he uses that to support digital currency businesses especially in the UK, who need someone that won’t shut their account as soon as the compliance team starts complaining.”
Besides, a user named Trowawayatwork stated: “To get there to his private island, you have to float there on hopium.”
The Summit participants include Lars Rasmussen, Facebook’s former engineering director and inventor of Google Maps, futurist Marshall Thurber, James Newsome, a former chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Matthew Roszak, the founder of Tally Capital and Young Sohn, the president and CSO of Samsung Electronics.
Branson is sharing hosting duties with Valery Vavilov, the CEO of Bitfury, Pro kiteboarder Suzi Mai and VC Bill Tai, the co-founders of MaiTai Global, a community of passionate water men and women, and George Kikvadze, the managing director of the Georgian Co-Investment Fund.
The discussions will be moderated by The Wall Street Journal senior columnist Michael J. Casey, The Economist’s Globalization Editor Matthew Bishop and Hernando de Soto, president of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy.
Currently Branson’s Virgin Group holds more than 200 companies in more than 30 countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada, Asia, Europe and South Africa. Sir Richard Branson has expanded his businesses to include a train company, a luxury game preserve, a mobile phone company and a space-tourism company, Virgin Galactic.
Furthermore, Branson is known for his sporting achievements: the record-breaking Atlantic crossing in Virgin Atlantic Challenger II in 1986, and the first crossing by hot-air balloon of the Atlantic (1987) and Pacific (1991).
In 2009, Sir Richard Branson landed at No. 261 on Forbes‘ World Billionaires list with his $2.5 billion in self-made fortune, which includes two private islands.
As you all know, Branson has been a supporter of exploring Bitcoin for a long time. Before, ahead of the first the Global Digital Currency Conversation Forum in Australia, Branson explained his rationale for investing in the digital currency: “There’s a real desire for greater levels of control, freedom and scrutiny over what happens with our money, Bitcoin addresses these concerns and that is why so many people believe it represents the future.”