Big BanksIt was foretold last year that big banks would get more involved in Bitcoin and the crypto space in 2015 and as we see the latest news supports that further. “Meet the 25 Banks Working With Distributed Ledger Startup R3”. Distributed ledger startup R3CEV announced the addition of three new banking partners to its blockchain project last week, raising the total number of banks involved to 25 including Bank of America, Citi, and Deutsche Bank to name a few.

It appears these banks are not against using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies  but discussions on the R3CEV site bring up points that research on the potential for central banks to borrow the innovation of virtual currency blockchains to deliver their own extremely efficient (and fungible) government-backed digital currency is still very possible as well. A Fedcoin, as it is mentioned in the article, “would appear to be the death knell for credit card providers and deposit-taking institutions. Banks would have two options to avoid economic obsolescence. The first would be to transition toward a pure investment banking strategy, financed entirely via equity and long-term debt raised from savers aware of the risk they were taking. Indeed, this is the model favoured by neo-classical economists harking back to the ideas of Irving Fisher.”

Even more reports from Asia-Pacific Banks state, they should develop and can be expected to increasingly focus on blockchain technology, according to a new report by Accenture. The prediction formed part of a new report that projects FinTech investments in the Asia-Pacific region will “quadruple” in 2015, rising to $3.5bn this year, up from $880m in 2014. The article futher explains, “As a stand-alone technology, blockchain could help banks, credit card companies and clearinghouses collaborate to create safer, faster accounting and optimize capital use by reducing counterparty risk and transaction latency,” the report reads. “We also expect distributed ledger technologies to become a critical part of the backbone of future capital markets.”

Sounds like an obvious reason, to save money, have faster transactions, and create greater security, is one of the biggest reasons the blockchain will definitely be intriguing to banks. Will Bitcoin and other crytptocurrencies be a part of that system? All most every major bank in the world has expressed opinions now that they want to learn more and possibly use blockchain technology which leaves the door open for Bitcoin and every other crytocurrency created to have a chance to be one of the major forms used.

Even if the banks do not like it, many signs point to Bitcoin staying around for the long haul. Recently the Bitcoin “B”  was approved by Computer Text Standards Body to the Unicode computing character standards this week. Also, there has been an increase in trading volume sparking the price to jump to around a $500 new high for the year.

Below is a quick list of other reasons.

  1. USAA adds Bitcoin balance check option for Coinbase Users
  2. Payments Giant Worldpay is Quietly Supporting Bitcoin
  3. Capital One Survey finds Blockchain Interest Growing
  4. Visa Debuts BITCOIN proof-of-concept for Car Leasing
  5. European Exchanges React to Bitcoin VAT Exemption

 

In other related news we see large companies such as Microsoft going straight to the leading edge in crypto 2.0 technology and supporting already created blockchains with Ethereum in its efforts to “Roll Out Ethereum Toolkits for Business Users”.

Thanks to a partnership with Ethereum collective ConsenSys, business users of Microsoft’s cloud-based Azure service will be able to access Ethereum Blockchain-as-a-Service, or ‘E BaaS’. The sandbox initiative announced it will be unveiled on 10th November at Ethereum’s DEVCON1 event in London.

 

The negative news around Bitcoin seems it may becoming less of an issue as the media clamored after the recent rise in Bitcoin prices hit a new high for the year. Also, people are becoming smarter about the technology overall and see that if people use bitcoin to buy drugs that is the same as using cash, and not the problem of the currency, but the user who makes the choice to use it that way.

There was an all time low turnout of bidders for the last Silk Road Bitcoin Auction presented by the US Marshalls office.

Someone stole a Bitcoin ATM in an Atlanta Smoke Shop.

DDOS ransoms requesting payment in Bitcoin is still occurring. Yet only a few have reported to actually pay up.

With the increasing involvement of big banks, governments, and large companies into the Bitcoin and Blockchain space we can feel a bit more comfortable that Bitcoin is here to stay and will be used in some capacity at least in the future and still could be the #1 global currency. Some people have even claimed in 2016, around the time of the Bitcoin reward halving, that this will be one of the largest economic events in history and have huge importance for the price, use, trust, and perception of this amazing technology.

After putting all this information together and noticing the end of the year coming up, we wanted to ask what you think will be the biggest news of 2016 in the Bitcoin/Blockchain space? Leave your comments below.