Banks take close look at bitcoin breakthroughs

techbreakthrough12 May 2014 / SFGate – While Jamie Dimon and Warren Buffett express doubts about bitcoin, executives running the financial industry’s back offices are looking at mimicking the virtual currency’s methods of moving money quickly and cheaply.

FIS, a provider of systems used by banks to handle payments, is examining whether a public ledger like bitcoin’s could help securely move funds on existing networks, Fred Brothers, the firm’s chief innovation officer, said. Fiserv, a provider of technology for payments and accounts, is examining bitcoin’s use of encryption to ensure transfers are secure, said Marc West, a senior vice president.

Such interest shows how Wall Street could seek to reap benefits touted by bitcoin’s backers without using the virtual currency itself. Bitcoin, devised by an anonymous programmer or programmers in 2008, has drawn entrepreneurs and retailers looking to popularize it as a low-cost alternative to established payment systems, supplanting credit cards and international wire transfers. Instead, a variety of financial firms might copy its underlying design to hone their own systems or services sold to clients.

“It’s safe to say that every bank is looking at what’s going on with bitcoin and those types of technologies,” said Steve Kenneally, a vice president of the American Bankers Association. “Most of the larger banks are investigating it. The larger the banks, the further along they are.”….. Read more

http://www.sfgate.com/technology/article/Banks-take-close-look-at-bitcoin-breakthroughs-5470029.php

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