A rose by any other name, doesn’t make you Sir Richard Branson. The British billionaire and business mogul called out a number of cryptocurrency scam stories that have been circulating, supposedly from Branson, that are not only damaging his name, but also the cryptocurrency industry.
In a blog post he penned on his Virgin Group website last week, Sir Richard said, “I have written several times warning people about the growing problem of fake stories online linking me to get-rich-quick schemes, fake pages, misleading ads, false endorsements and fake binary trading schemes. While I have often commented on the potential benefits of genuine bitcoin developments, I absolutely do not endorse these fake bitcoin stories.”
Branson called to the carpet one particular scam, Bitcoin Trader. The scam appears as a realistic CNN Tech article, with all the CNN bells and whistles and carries the headline, “560 Thousand British Quit Their Jobs After Richard Branson Invests Heavily In New Bitcoin Financial Tech.” It even shows a picture of Branson supposedly discussing his investment in front of a live audience and carries a caption that discusses Branson’s apparent announcement of abandoning Virgin Group.
There have been several high-profile individuals who have had their face stolen by furuncles. A British finance author, Martin Lewis, recently went after Facebook after the social media giant was found publishing ads that supposedly showed him endorsing cryptocurrencies. Even Ethereum’s founder, Vitalik Buterin, has been the subject of the scams, with fake Twitter accounts created that purportedly had him giving his blessing to certain projects.
Branson, whose net worth is reported to be around $5.1 billion, also slammed social media companies in his blog post last week for not doing enough to control the issue. He said, “We also contact the social networks where the fake stories are being spread and urge them to take the stories down and do more to proactively stop them appearing in the first place.”
Branson’s Virgin Group owns more than 400 companies, including Virgin Atlantic and a recent acquisition of the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. While he has promoted both BTC and other blockchain technology in the past, any attribution of his name or face to other cryptocurrency operations is nothing more than a poor attempt by weak-minded individuals to drum up business because they know they can’t do it legitimately.