Bitcoin Suisse founder Niklas Nikolajsen believes it’s only a matter of time before European banks will start offering bitcoin wallets.
Digital currencies like bitcoin are proven to be faster and cheaper than traditional banking methods, but the idea of banks providing bitcoin wallets remains far-fetched. Until today, that is.
In an interview with finews.ch, Nikolajsen said he expects that a change will come to the banking system “by the end of 2016.” Nikolajsen didn’t mention which European banks, only that it would “not be an exotic bank.”
Blockchain revolution won’t happen ‘soon’
The central bank of UK, however, has a different idea on when the blockchain revolution is going to happen.
Andrew Hauser, executive director for banking, payments and financial resilience of the Bank of England, said that while financial technology may shape the way the central bank develops new systems—particularly in terms of adopting distributed ledgers—adopting blockchain for stock and bond settlements won’t happen anytime soon.
Blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin, makes use of cryptography to create a distributed ledger system to hold and spend money in a more open, transparent and flexible manner compared to the traditional bank or credit card companies.
The central bank executive said it’s easy to call for reform since settling securities transactions globally can be “extraordinarily complex and balkanized.” However, “there is no likelihood of such an extreme revolution occurring any time soon,” according to Hauser.
“Much more work is needed across a whole range of issues, including: speed and scaleability; confidentiality protections; developing common protocols; integrating cash and securities movements; and establishing regulatory and legal norms,” Hauser said, according to Fortune.
Blockchain is already being adopted by several countries into their own banking systems.
In June, the Bank of Canada announced last week that it is testing how the blockchain technology can be used for interbank payments, but the Canadian central bank stressed that “it has no plans” to come up with a digitized version of the Canadian dollar.
Current bitcoin price and trade volume
The price of bitcoin dropped to $596.4 on Wednesday morning, with a trade volume of $25.39 million.