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Wall Street Sees Potential in the Blockchain

Major Wall Street firms appear wary of Bitcoin as a currency. But financial services firms are studying the Bitcoin network and the blockchain, seeking to mine the cryptocurrency’s technological advances for potential services. Here’s an excerpt from the Bloomberg BusinessWeek story Bitcoin Breakthroughs Studied by Banks.

FIS, a provider of systems used by banks to handle payments, is examining whether a public ledger like bitcoin’s could help securely move funds on existing networks, Fred Brothers, the firm’s chief innovation officer, said in an interview. Fiserv Inc., a provider of technology for payments and accounts, is examining bitcoin’s use of encryption to ensure transfers are secure, said Marc West, a senior vice president. …. Such interest shows how Wall Street could seek to reap benefits touted by bitcoin’s backers without using the virtual currency itself. Bitcoin, proposed by an anonymous programmer or programmers in 2008, has drawn entrepreneurs and retailers looking to popularize it as a low-cost alternative to established payment systems, supplanting credit cards to international wire transfers. Instead, a variety of financial firms might copy its underlying design to hone their own systems or services sold to clients.

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