Mainstream banking giants such as JPMorgan and UBS might be skeptical of bitcoin, but fintech startups such as Square and Revolut are embracing it as a logical outgrowth of the digital revolution.
In an interview with CNBC, Revolut CEO Nikolay Storonsky stated that, despite the protests of JPMorgan head Jamie Dimon, bitcoin is “definitely not a fraud”. Like many cryptocurrency advocates, he drew parallels between the markets for bitcoin and gold.
“Real-world usage for gold is quite limited. But still there is a huge market, huge volumes that are being traded in the market, and these volumes determine the gold price,” he said.
Similarly, bitcoin might not be used for everyday transactions — at least right now — and the bulk of its volume may be speculation-driven, but most commodities are the same way.
“The question, ‘Where is the real gold price?’ No one knows. It’s the same with bitcoin. Volumes are increasing, the price is shooting up, there is no implication of bitcoin in the real world, it’s quite limited,” Storonsky said, connecting bitcoin’s volatility to that of other commodities. “If you look at the oil market, 90 percent of volume is speculation, 10 percent is real use case.”
As CCN has reported, Revolut — an app-based banking alternative — crowdfunded more than $22 million earlier this year. The startup plans to integrate cryptocurrency transactions into its mobile platform, enabling its users to buy, sell, hold, and transfer top coins including bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin directly from the Revolut app. At present, the app has more than 1 million users, and the company says it is adding approximately 3,500 new accounts per day.
Revolut is not the only mobile financial services app to explore integrating cryptocurrency functionality. Square Cash recently began a bitcoin pilot program that allows a limited number of users to buy and sell the most prominent cryptocurrency from within the app. Even Credit Suisse — a firm not known for embracing cryptocurrency — stated that the move “confers legitimacy” on bitcoin and could prompt adoption by PayPal and other mainstream providers.
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