As much as digital currency enthusiasts would like to steer away from the banking system as we know it today, collaboration between both worlds will be quite important for the foreseeable future. Even Santander’s, Mariana Belinsky, seems to think along those lines. Any innovation in the Fintech industry will need some form of support by traditional financial institutions and Bitcoin – or Ripple, in this case – are no exception.
It is no secret that major banks have a vested interest in the future development of blockchain technology. But as you would come to expect from a financial system where total control and centralised authorities play a major role, banks are not necessarily leaning towards Bitcoin. In fact, Santander InnoVentures – part of the Santander group – has pumped another US$4m into the Ripple ecosystem.
Several major banks have shown a growing interest in bitcoin and the underlying blockchain technology over the past 18 months. Even though none of these projects have come to fruition just yet, Barclays is making quite a few waves by suddenly accepting charity donations in Bitcoin. Is this a shimmer of things to come, or just a flash in the pan?
It is no secret that Bitcoin and other virtual currencies have been making headway across Latin America in recent months. Most of the countries are plagued by hyperinflationary fiat currencies, as well as tight capital controls in terms of moving funds in and out of the region. Just a few weeks ago, the first ever Bitcoin conference was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Strong Focus On Regulation and Financial Aspect of Virtual Currencies
Bitcoin and other virtual currencies could play a major role of importance in Latin America in the near future, once more people have found out what these currencies are about. To be more precise, there are two major points of interest: how will virtual currencies be regulated, and what does the financial aspect of Bitcoin and consorts entail exactly?
Whenever a bank makes a positive statement on any aspect of Bitcoin, the digital currency community is both excited and worried at the same time. Most of the community want banks to adopt the Bitcoin technology for their financial services, even though that might bring even stiffer competition to the monetary aspect of Bitcoin itself.
Santander: “Bitcoin Has a Lot of Use Cases.”
In Spain, most of the banks are warming up to the idea of Bitcoin and its underlying technology. As we have seen from initiatives such as Chip Chap, it is possible to use major bank ATM’s to convert Bitcoin to fiat currency, even if you are not a customer of that financial institution.