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Richard Branson to Host Bitcoin Summit on Private Island

(@pete_rizzo_) | Published on April 28, 2015 at 10:08 BST
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UPDATE (April 30th 10:58am): A spokesperson for Richard Branson confirmed to Fusion reporter Kashmir Hill that the entrepreneur has no direct involvement with the "selection of the guests or curation of the event". The article has been updated to reflect this.


"The greatest minds in cryptocurrency" will come together to discuss bitcoin and the blockchain on billionaire Richard Branson's personal private island this May.

Taking place on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands from the 25th to 28th, the event will feature discussions moderated by Hernando De Soto, president of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy, Wall Street Journal senior columnist Michael J Casey and Matthew Bishop, US business editor for The Economist.

Branson has been enthusiastic in his praise for the bitcoin, having previously invested in payment processor BitPay and accepted the digital currency for his space travel enterprise Virgin Galactic.

The event's welcome message frames the gathering in terms that emphasise the lasting impact of blockchain technologies, stating:

"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."

Besides the Virgin Group founder, the event's hosts include BitFury CEO Valery Vavilov and venture capitalists Bill Tai, Suzi Mai and George Kikvadze.

In total, the event will include 30 luminaries from the bitcoin and larger digital currency space, including bitcoin core developer Jeff Garzik, Bitreserve's Juan Llanos, Tally Capital's Matthew Roszak and entrepreneur and Bitcoin Foundation chairman Brock Pierce.

The event is also the latest high-profile bitcoin conference to be held in the Caribbean following the Satoshi Roundtable in February. That conference, organised by recently-elected Bitcoin Foundation executive director Bruce Fenton, sparked controversy for its exclusive guest list and "secretive" itinerary.

Prospective attendees and hosts declined to comment or provide more details about the event's itinerary at press time.

A full list of participants can be found on the event's website.

Image credit: Prometheus72 / Shutterstock.com

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