Bitcoin Branson: Virgin Money developing ‘zero-fee’ digital wallet

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Richard Branson

Virgin Money looks set to become the next major financial services company to launch a digital wallet, capable of storing cryptocurrencies.

The wallet is being developed by Virgin Money South Africa as part of an updated version of the company’s existing blockchain-based payments application, ‘Virgin Money Spot’.

“We’ve got a closed loop token network, a bit similar to Facebook (Libra coin), but they are a stablecoin,” Virgin Money CEO Andre Hugo told South Africa’s Business Day.

“We are a token that is pegged 1:1, so there’s no variation and there’s no fluctuation.

“Let’s say you put R100 into your wallet, you’re actually buying R100 worth of Virgin tokens.

“Those tokens are pegged 1:1 to the Rand, we hold that value in a call account and when you sell back that token to us, we issue you with a value that hasn’t fluctuated.”

Hugo is hopeful the updated version of the application, which is likely to include capabilities for storing cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin will be completed by October this year.

“It will basically be a zero-fee bank account that we’ll be launching as a transactional account within the app.”

“It will bring our credit card offering, peer-to-peer, merchants, airtime, data and new products like cross-border remittances and savings all under one unique, unified user experience and one app.”

Richard Branson, Bitcoin, and blockchain

Virgin Money South Africa is owned by Richard Branson’s Virgin Money Group.

Branson has been an investor and supporter of various Bitcoin and blockchain projects.

“I think Blockchain is very smart, I have to admit that I invested in it early on and the reason I invested in it was the amount of different uses it could be put to,” he said in an interview with CNBC.

In October 2010, Australian blockchain company Power Ledger was announced the winner of Richard Branson’s ‘Extreme Tech Challenge’.

In January 2014, cryptocurrency entrepreneurs Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss used Bitcoin to pay for a trip to the edge of space on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.