Banks are slowly realising that Bitcoin and Blockchain are here to stay and slowly joining the queue to adopt the currency. It is the old, trash it, denigrate it, try to change it accept it and find a way of using it.
The Bank of America (BOA) is the latest, having revealed in a report that they acknowledge cryptocurrencies are a threat to their business model and are now looking at ways of incorporating cryptocurrencies into their financial operations.
The bank had recently barred its customer from using credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies are now acknowledging that if they do not come to the party they could very well lose customers. “Clients may choose to conduct business with other market participants who engage in business or offer products in areas we deem speculative or risky, such as cryptocurrencies,” said the bank in the report. And that, “…the widespread adoption of new technologies, including internet services, cryptocurrencies and payment systems, could require substantial expenditures to modify or adapt our existing products and services.”
The BOA has been fully aware of Bitcoins entry into the financial sector and has been quietly applying for cryptocurrency patents possibly with a view to apply the system, within the bank or possibly also to reduce the expansion of cryptocurrencies into the financial market. “Emerging technologies, such as cryptocurrencies, could limit our ability to track the movement of funds. Our ability to comply with these laws is dependent on our ability to improve detection and reporting capabilities and reduce variation in control processes and oversight accountability.”
Other banks are coming to the party, particularly in Eastern Europe and Asia so the larger US controlled banks certainly do not want to be left behind. Many banks are now at the stage where they are relaxing their previous hard line (S. Korean for example).
The head of the Malaysian Bank has also indicated that the bank will neither ban nor recognize cryptocurrencies, leaving it up to the public to decide how they will use them. Bank Negara Governor Muhammad Ibrahim recently said, “Basically, we will let the cryptocurrency promoters including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple to be more transparent, the methods to be more transparent and people behind the scene are to be more transparent too,” He also hinted at some minor regulations may be put into place but emphasised, “By doing so, the public can decide on its own if they want to invest in cryptocurrencies.”
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