I have always loved thinking about what’s new, and what is coming next to improve all of our lives.
It is that curiosity that has driven my interest in emerging payment technologies, and my investment in the company Blockchain. We recently did a follow-on investment in a record-setting Series B financing for Blockchain, a bitcoin wallet business I see at the cutting edge of a growing industry.
Blockchain’s focus has been on building the most used and trusted wallet technology, enabling users to essentially act as their own bank. We think the wallet will play a pivotal role in this ecosystem and I see the business leading the way in a space that has the potential to disrupt the world of money and centralised institutions.
Thankfully, regulatory clarity around digital currencies has improved, and the bitcoin ecosystem, while not without its challenges, has matured significantly since we first invested in the space in 2013.
While our hypothesis about blockchain technology adoption is in its infancy, we are excited to be backing the entrepreneurs behind Blockchain. We’ve had to change course in many Virgin businesses over the years as industries have evolved. So it is important when making early stage investments to be backing the smartest entrepreneurs, who know how to deal with these changes.
What we like is that the Blockchain team, run by co-founders Peter Smith and Nic Cary, have built a platform that will allow them to be the custodian of any digital assets should alternate use cases of blockchain technology reach critical mass.
I’m not sure if anybody knows exactly how emerging payment technologies are going to change the world for good in the long-term – I certainly don’t. But I’m convinced they are going to have a big, positive impact, and am excited about going on the journey.