July 9 update:
3 days after posting, Visa acknowledged that Bitcoin has a future in payments. This is an understatement, of course. The bank described below goes a step further by acknowledging that the entire financial infrastructure may cave to cryptocurrencies.
French bank BNP Paribas warned customers and investors that the technology behind bitcoin might one day overtake conventional, account-based financial institutions, thus rendering existing companies redundant (that’s British for “obsolete”).* It’s a tectonic acknowledgement from one of the world’s biggest banks.
Analyst Johann Palychata writes in the company’s magazine Quintessence that Bitcoin’s blockchain, the underlying architecture that allows cryptocurrency to function, “should be considered as an invention like the steam or combustion engine,” that has the potential to transform the world of finance and beyond.
Check out the full story by Oscar Williams-Grut at Business Insider.
* Although Bitcoin will obsolete the current service mix of financial institutions, it is my opinion that for savvy governments and established businesses, it represents a long term opportunity rather than a threat.
The author is Co-Chair of The Cryptocurrency Standards
Association [crypsa.org] and chief editor at AWildDuck.com