Following the lead of other leading banks, Barclays announced that it would be collaborating with UK-based bitcoin exchange Safello in order to “explore how blockchain technologies could bolster the financial services sector.” Coindesk reports:
Speaking to CoinDesk, Safello CEO Frank Schuil said Barclays’ decision reflected a wider change in traditional finance:
“If a Tier I bank signing a proof-of-concept with a bitcoin company isn’t a sign of the times then I don’t know what is … their attitude is changing and it is changing fast.”
The announcement, made at the Barclays Accelerator demo session in London today, comes as an increasing number of banks are trialling distributed ledgers such as Ripple.
In a recently published report “Understanding Bitcoin: Blockchain Applications Beyond Payments,” I laid out why bankers’ attitudes to Bitcoin have gone from dismissal to begrudging interest. Bitcoin’s key innovation is its distributed ledger or blockchain technology which allows two strangers to exchange value across the internet without the need for a trusted third party (who may impose additional costs or delays). As I point out in my report, this has implications far beyond payments, encompassing such diverse applications as stock trading, land titling, identity management and self-executing ‘smart contracts’.
Overview by Nikhil Joseph, Analyst, Emerging Technologies Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Service
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