Bitcoin Suisse founder, Niklas Nikolajsen, has said that European bank accounts will eventually be offering bitcoin wallets.
In an interview with finews.ch at the Fintech Conference Finance 2.0, Nikolajsen explained that while European banks will soon be providing bitcoin wallets he didn’t specify which banks these would be, only that it would ‘not be an exotic bank.’
While digital currencies such as bitcoin are faster and cheaper than traditional banking methods, it seems that the notion that banks will be providing bitcoin wallets anytime soon is unrealistic. Nikolajsen seems to think, though, that the change to the banking system will take place by the end of 2016.
The Issue of Private Keys
One of the issues highlighted has to do with private keys. Those who have access to their private key can freely spend the bitcoins linked to that particular account.
However, if banks do eventually end up providing bitcoin wallets to their customers, they will be required to hand over the control of those particular private keys.
It remains to be seen whether or not this would be the case, which in turn, raises a number of security issues.
Zug Leads the Way
Switzerland is known for its openness towards the digital currency.
Earlier this year, the town of Zug in Switzerland decided to undertake a pilot program to accept bitcoin as a valid form of payment for municipality services, marketing itself as the go-to destination that welcomes the digital currency.
Of course, while Switzerland is considered a forward-thinking country, the Swiss capital of Zurich took the steps last month by refusing to allow bitcoin payments, going against the grain compared to the rest of the country.
Even though digital currencies such as bitcoin are making headway in the financial sector there doesn’t seem to be any plans at present for them to introduce bitcoin wallets to their customers.
For now, it looks as though the town of Zug will have to continue its pilot program until the end of 2016 to determine the impact the digital currency has had on the town for it to continue.
Maybe then banks will start taking notice.
Blockchain Difficult to Put into Practice
While the banking sector is not too enthusiastic about bitcoin, they have taken to its underlying technology, the blockchain.
Now, though, it seems that putting blockchain technology into practice may be difficult for banks. Simply because of the transparency that it offers, which many bankers are against due to the nature of their privacy.
For now, then, it seems as though banks won’t be changing too much with the banking system as they determine the best course of action for the future of finance.
Featured image from iStock/Ida Jarosova.