Bitcoin continues to push deeper into mainstream currency trading with BNP Paribas, France’s largest bank. The bank is testing bitcoin for one of its currency funds, according to International Business Times UK.
A source at BNP Paribas told IBTimes UK the bank has been “beta testing” crypotocurrency with one of the bank’s currency funds in Paris and will make an announcement about it shortly.
“We are looking at blockchain technology and how it can be applied to post trade processes to make things faster and potentially cheaper but it’s all very much projects and it’s all in testing,” a BNP Paribas spokeswoman said. “It’s nothing live.”
BNP Paribas raised headlines earlier this month when analyst Johann Palychata said bitcoin technology, when applied to securities trading, could make sections of the banking industry “redundant.”
Palychata wrote in the BNP Paribas magazine Quintessence that the block chain “should be considered as invention like the steam or combustion engine” due its transformative capabilities.
Meanwhile, Société Générale (SocGen) has advertised for an IT developer on bitcoin, block chains and cryptocurrencies. The ad said this 12-month contact would involve “developing proof-of-concept in any language/protocols used in cryptocurrency protocols and blockchains 1.0-3.0.”
Banks have been wary about bitcoin for its volatility and the negative publicity around Silk Road and the Mt. Gox collapse, the report noted.
In late 2014, banking giant HSBC ended its relationship with Global Advisors Bitcoin Investment Fund, billed as the world’s first regulated crypto hedge fund.
But progress continues. Fully-regulated trading in bitcoin takes place at cryptocurrency exchange Kraken under the auspices of online challenger bank Fidor and the strictures of BaFIN, the German regulator. The regulated trading includes margin trades and dark pool bitcoin trades.
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