France’s biggest bank BNP Paribas is reportedly planning to add bitcoin to one of its currency funds, a source at the bank told International Business Times UK. The unnamed source said that BNP Paribas has been doing “beta testing” involving crypotocurrency, and the official announcement could come in the next couple of weeks. BNP Paribas has not yet responded to requests for comments.
BNP Paribas, headquartered in Paris, was formed through the merger of Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) and Paribas in 2000. It’s one of the largest banks in the world. Based on 2012 information BNP Paribas was ranked as the third-largest bank in the world, as measured by total assets, by Bloomberg and Forbes.
In November, writing on Quintessence, the financial magazine of BNP Paribas, financial securities research analyst Johann Palychata argued that bitcoin and other digital currencies could shake up traditional banking and financial services.
The analyst noted “the slow emergence of an ecosystem to accommodate a broader use of crypto-currencies in the real economy,” and the possibility that large corporations might decide to use the Bitcoin network rather than existing settlement systems.
PYMNTS noted that Palychata’s article, which publicly suggested that “the development of an alternative to the current banking system is under way,” was remarkable because it came from one of the world’s largest banks.
A few weeks ago, Palychata wrote another Quintessence article on the possible impact and future implications of the blockchain for securities markets. “[The blockchain] is the first successful attempt for a secure and decentralized register,” said Palychata. “It should be considered as an invention like the steam or combustion engine.”
Palychata considers the possibility of a scenario, never mentioned or discussed by mainstream financial institutions, where the blockchain makes