After having read an article on the use of blockchain currency, I am wondering if there may be more to it in the time to come in the areas of corporate finance and financial industry.

My thinking is that on the one hand, the hacks against bitcoin exchanges have created an uncertainty that established banks do not want to meddle with. Then again, they have to rethink their business models very strongly.

Furthermore, with the decentralized transaction confirmations in bitcoin, the settlement cost and duration is expected to increase, as it did recently, making it not a substitute for cash and credit cards.

On the other hand, a study from Oliver Wyman that I saw referenced often, but could not access myself, mentions that banks could hope to save $65-80bn per year in settlement cost when switching to new mechanisms, probably the main reason why they started experimenting with bitcoin in the first place.

However, it seems that bitcoin suffers from longer transaction verification times (and fees), which would have to be overcome before more widespread use. Just in the last week, the backlog has increased.

Do you think bitcoin has a future to be used by large financial organizations, and why?

1 Answer 1


Generally, Bitcoin is a poor fit for the needs of most financial institutions. They want features which are incompatible with Bitcoin, or require unsupported workarounds:

  • Holding local currencies.
  • Reversing transactions.
  • Keeping transaction information secret from the public, but available to regulators.
  • The ability to kick others off of their platform if they give the platform a bad name.

What those articles talk about is Bitcoin technology (also called 'blockchain technology') which is much more broad.

  • that makes sense. Would there be a plausible use of blockchain for financial institutions, then? The drawbacks of transparent transaction history are still valid.
    – Marie. P.
    Oct 30, 2016 at 15:19
  • @Marie.P. Yes. Although Bitcoin operates as a public blockchain, there's no reason why you couldn't have a private blockchain, and only allow other financial institutions to view the blockchain.
    – Nick ODell
    Oct 30, 2016 at 22:45

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