Most major world banks have historically been dead set against cryptocurrencies and viewed them as a threat to the traditional methods of banking.
Today, however, they suddenly seem to have recognised that crypto is here to stay and that blockchain technology has multiple state-of-the-art benefits. As the crypto bank Revolut starts to expand in competition, governments are showing intense interest in the technology and even funding blockchain startups.
Rather than resisting the unstoppable wave of innovation, they are now keenly searching for ways to ride the crest of the wave – or even to replace it altogether.
So What Exactly Is Happening Out There?
IBM Shakes Ripple
News hot off the press is that US banks have joined forces with IBM intending to issue cryptocurrencies for both remittance and internal payments. This initiative from IBM is powered by Stellar’s blockchain, and could well pose a threat to Ripple, which has positioned itself and XRP as the future of banking remittance payments.
JP Morgan Causes Shockwaves
In February, JP Morgan became the first major US bank to start developing its cryptocurrency, the JPM Coin. The currency is a stablecoin, each redeemable for one US Dollar. It will allow customers to make payments instantly using the power of blockchain technology. It can also be used to settle the bank’s international transactions, reduce transfer times, and is poised to become one of the very first cryptocurrency applications in banking.
Mizuho Launches J-coin Platform
The Japanese bank announced in February that it was shortly to launch a ground-breaking J-coin project. Mizuho has gone into partnership with more than 60 other financial institutions to produce a platform that makes it easy to convert J-coin to fiat currencies or vice versa. Users can pay for services or goods using J-coin, and the platform will challenge companies like Line’s LINK and Rakuten, that provide similar services.
Julius Baer Partners Crypto Start-up
This Swiss banking giant has recently entered into a partnership with SEBA Crypto, a start-up company. The venture will offer direct cryptocurrency access to customers, together with the ability to invest, trade and store the currencies. Julius Baer believes that being able to venture into this crypto space is critical to future success, as cryptocurrencies start to top the leader board as an asset class for savvy investors.
Is There More To This Than What Is Obvious?
The world over, it seems the top forward-thinking central banks are beginning to realise that old saying ‘If you can’t beat them, join them’. Or are they?
A leading bank in the Philippines is even reported to be ready to launch a two-way crypto ATM. HSBC is exploring a blockchain platform to reduce the cost of Forex trading. It seems that the application of this innovative technology is endless.
However, the world banks mission is a million miles away from the cryptocurrency creative visionaries. They are certainly not replicating the dream of decentralised money or freedom for the people.
They are looking to use this unique technology to control government money better. It could even be said that they are hanging onto their control tightly and are simply looking for ways to do it more efficiently. Maybe they are also planning to eventually replace fiat currency with digital money, under their close scrutiny of course!
Some banks it seems, are dreaming of replacing the success of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple by developing their digital currencies of their own, which will, of course, be controlled by the governments.
You have to ask yourself – how far are they prepared to go in the future?