Canada Bank Considers Bitcoin Potential

The Bank of Montreal (BMO) is one of the top five banks in Canada, number four in fact, by market capitalisation.

It is the eleventh largest bank in North America and a major player in global finance.

If their CEO, Bill Downe, comments officially on specific financial matters, you can be sure it is carefully considered.

So, when Mr. Downe came out this week as saying that his bank would be open to dealing with Bitcoin technology, it was a huge endorsement.

Of course, he noted further that the virtual currency would have to be more clearly regulated than it is today. Nevertheless, Bitcoin is very much on the BMO’s radar.

These comments, the first of their kind by the head of a major bank in North America, come on the back other important news from the banking sector.

Not least of which, was an official presentation and conference held at the St. Louis Federal Reserve in the United States. Here, Bitcoin was described as “a stroke of genius” that would force existing banking institutions to “adapt or die.”

The banking sector in North America is certainly taking note of this new technology. Where banks may once have been fearful of this new system, they now seem to be taking a more practical approach.

This is re-assuring, as Bitcoin does not have to be a threat necessarily. It can also be an opportunity for any bank with vision.

Canada Bank Considers Bitcoin Potential 1

If Bitcoin is indeed here to stay, as some in the banking sector are beginning to realise, then banks can use this technological infrastructure for their own benefit.

As Mr. Downe of the BMO noted, at some “point in the future […] we would be able to [conduct business] with bitcoin.”

The revolutionary technology at the core of Bitcoin, its cryptography and blockchain architecture, can allow for faster, cheaper transactions of all assets.

It seems banks are starting to realise this. It is encouraging. As wall street investor Barry Silbert noted recently, “we’re probably just a few months away from Wall Street banks…starting to invest in bitcoin, and starting to create investment products for bitcoin,”.

Silbert also notes the trend we speak of here, with banks unable to “[…] ignore [bitcoin] anymore.” He goes on to note that from his discussion with bankers in North America, they “believe that this is here to stay and [they’re] just figuring out what the strategy is.”

It should be an interesting 2014 as the banking sector wakes up to the potential of this technology and formalises a strategy for capitalising on its huge potential.

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