In  the past few weeks we've seen some outstanding new interest in Bitcoin and the Blockchain. This coming from the major credit card networks Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

PayPal, through BrainTree, and Stripe both are supporting Bitcoin payments for merchants, and PayPal has loosened the noose on Bitcoin selling merchants allow the digital currency to be purchased through its payment system.

Up until recently, banks and financial institutions had avoided bitcoin and banks are still offish mainstream regardless of some investments in the area.

Gil Luria, a managing director at Wedbush Securities told American Banker that interest the bitcoin blockchain is on the rise in the financial services industry. 

"A lot of the large financial organizations are indeed dipping their toes in water; they are hearing a lot about the technology and they want to start exploring it in the lab and see if they can develop products around it," he said. "Then there are some others going a bit further that are genuinely committed to making this technology part of their future product offering."

Recent Developments 

This week brought news of many new developments with digital currency and payment networks.

Visa announced it has partnered with DocuSign in a proof-of-concept (POC) that uses the Blockchain for maintaining records and streamlining the car leasing process.

American Express would not be denied and they have invested considerably into Abra, a mobile remittance application.

The Digital Currency Group received funding from MasterCard. The new company has an OTC practice, but oddly enough exists solely to put money into other companies (in the form of bitcoin of course).

Financial services are testing the waters and the market rate is reflecting the interest. Bitcoin hit $338 overnight in its continued rise. It had been previously dormant having not been at 300 or above since July.

Story by Algei (Alba Gei)
Banner Image by dinbits staff
Visa logo image courtesy Visa, Inc.
Quote from American Banker

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