Will Banks Warm Up to Bitcoin in 2017?
Over the past few months, it has become apparent that Bitcoin is here to stay. Even though 2016 started off on a weak note for bitcoin, its steady rise in the latter half of the year has only further consolidated its status as a reliable asset. Bitcoin not only managed to recover from the Bitfinex hack this year but also attained stability and demand.
The steep rise in Bitcoin value has dispelled any notions about a decline in interest in the face of scalability and governance issues.
This has certainly led to an interest in bitcoin from financial institutions as a viable project but they are still hesitant in the light of being unable to exert control over it.
Moreover, due to traditional banks’ slow pace adoption of FinTech, a lot of businesses sought innovative services from non-bank players in 2016. Mike Galarza, founder and CEO of AP automation firm Entryless, had even touted 2016 year as the year that corporates stopped relying on banks, in an interview.
Following which, the tone of a lot of financial players has shifted from borderline ignorant to showing an appetite for innovation. Nearly every major bank is sponsoring hackathons or building up their own accelerator to foster innovation. Especially fintech startups are getting a lot of positive attention as of late, despite being opposed for quite some time.
They are also exploring Blockchain technology, thought it will take a little time to integrate it into day to day services.
The year ahead can bring in a lot many exciting changes as banks will be less afraid of associating with the cryptocurrency. We may also find them willing for collaborations and to test bitcoin-related functions. Their engagement with the entire community can also not be ruled out.
But it is more likely for the two systems to simply coexist for a fair bit before the financial players come to terms with Bitcoin. So it is safe to assume that right now banks are more keen on fintech adoption than bitcoin.
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