Barclays is about to become the first mainstream bank to openly and directly support bitcoin transactions, The Sunday Times reports. The Daily Mail echoed the news for its huge readership.
Barclays has been experimenting with Bitcoin and working with digital currency start-ups for some time. Speaking at the Morgan Stanley European Financials Conference in London, Barclays’ CEO Antony Jenkins warned the “banking sector has not yet felt the ‘full disruptive force’ of technology – but it will.” He elaborated on the growing concern among financial institutions that faster, cheaper payment systems will start to seduce their consumer and business customers in the coming years. In June, Barclays signed a deal with Bitcoin company Safello to explore financial applications of the blockchain technology that powers Bitcoin.
Barclays is not the only bank to express interest in Bitcoin’s technology and launch internal experiments and pilot projects. In fact, as recently reported by Bitcoin Magazine, major banks including Citi, UBS, Santander, BNP Paribas, and BBVA are taking serious note of Jenkins’ warning and committing resources