Banks join the cryptocurrencies. As with any major change, the steps that are being taken are very cautious, but nevertheless significant.
It is increasingly evident that Bitcoin and the blockchain technology are here to stay. Internet needs to find a payment solution that is similar to cash, and that is exactly what Bitcoin is. Banks are starting to see the potential, and far from turning their backs to it, they are joining this technological transformation.
Is 2015 the year of the transformation?
During the first months of 2015 we have seen a series of moves in this direction. The European Central Bank published its second report on cryptocurrencies early March, which defines them as “a representation of value (…) that can be used as an alternative to money” and described them as “potentially transformatives” in the field of payments. The Bank of England recently published a paper studying how to adapt the Bitcoin technology for the eurozone, and recognized that cryptocurrencies have shown the possibility of transferring value safely without the need of a third party. Furthermore, IBM ‘s next big project was made public a few days ago: They are looking at the possibility of adopting the Bitcoin technology for the major currencies in cooperation with the central banks.
In 2015 we have also seen the investment of BBVA Ventures in Coinbase, and the alliance between the German based Fidor Bank and Bitcoin.de to enable sending and receiving bitcoins directly between bank accounts.
We are convinced that this is just the beginning. Not surprisingly, Coinffeine´s technology was born with this philosophy. Our protocol turns the services traditionally offered by a service provider into contracts between individuals, and thereby gives banks a privileged place to explore the new cryptocurrencies and digital goods market.
From last year Coinffeine rely on a big Spanish bank among its partners. Bankinter commited to Bitcoin with Coinffeine, and it was one of the first banks in the world to enter the ecosystem. We are also currently working with other major banks to reach similar agreements, as we believe that the future lies on the alliance between banks and Bitcoin.
Coinffeine to the European Commission
In the same way that banks are showing more interest in learning about the potential of Bitcoin and the blockchain technology, the authorities and the regulators are also moving in this direction. And for that they are considering the opinion of experts. Invited by a political party, Coinffeine has already been in the Spanish Parliament to bring our vision of the regulatory process. Maybe that’s why it did not surprise us that we have received an invitation to participate in a workshop about Bitcoin organized by the European Commission next month. This also demonstrates the increasing interest that exists about the progress made by the Spanish Bitcoin community.
On April 27th, Coinffeine will be in Brussels to participate in the event Blockchain and Digital Currencies Workshop, along with Alex Puig, founder of Digital Currency Summit and the event organizer, other important companies in the ecosystem such as Ethereum and Circle and experts of the European financial sector. Alberto, our CEO, will take part in the panel dedicated to banks “Why Banks should (not) be afraid by cryptocurrencies – experience from an early adopter bank”, which will also be attended by Fidor Bank. The panel will discuss about the early and incipient experiences in the alliance banking – Bitcoin.
The transformation is underway and Coinffeine expects to be among its protagonists.