Contrary to speculation and discussion from earlier today, Dutch banking giant ABN AMRO is not working on or releasing a bitcoin wallet to its customers as a part of its banking services.
Social media was abuzz with speculation that a bitcoin wallet might be in the offing by ABN AMRO , a major European bank with a global presence, based in Netherlands. A webpage surfaced, purporting to conduct a survey among ABN AMRO customers by the bank’s Innovation Centre. It stated:
From the Innovation Centre of ABN AMRO, we follow the development of bitcoin closely. At present, we examine whether the Netherlands is a need for an ABN AMRO Bitcoinwallet. Managing your bitcoinwallet hereby takes place through the secure environment of ABN AMRO.
The wallet offering claimed to offer secure transactions for both business and personal needs, with bitcoin.
Understandably, the web page stoked the curiosity of cryptocurrency enthusiasts and observers.
However, an ABN AMRO representative has since revealed that the survey was a part of a dormant early project from the bank’s Innovation Centre and has been shelved ever since. The webpage was taken down not long after. The cached version can be found here.
On social media , one representative for the bank stated that the project’s unexpected appearance on a webpage was a “mystery” and that the bank is investigating the matter internally.
While the excitement was short-lived, the incident is a reminder that banks are researching the potential and benefits of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Arguably, investments and interest by the financial industry into bitcoin have taken a backseat when compared to the heightened allure being shown toward blockchain, the technology powering the cryptocurrency.
Although a trend has emerged among interested parties to gravitate toward a private, permissioned ledger in recent times, initiatives like those by “Big Four” giant Deloitte continue to underline that bitcoin and blockchain will stay intertwined.
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