A new research report by banking giant Citi asserts that it does not view bitcoin and other digital currencies as a disruptive threat to banks, credit card networks or traditional remittance providers, but rather as a potential complement to existing services.
Published today, the 56-page report argues bitcoin and digital currencies are better equipped to open up new markets and reach new consumers, and that today’s centralized payment systems are already efficient enough for today’s commerce.
Still, Citi does see opportunity in using a public blockchain.
The report reads:
“The power behind an open network like bitcoin is the possibility of incorporating it with other technologies to bring about true innovation, such as applications that support the Internet of Things (eg machine-to-machine payments).”
Notably, the report found bitcoin and digital currencies could be impactful in emerging markets, where payments systems are not as developed.
“In countries where there is no quality payments infrastructure, we do think there could be some opportunity for an open decentralized network like bitcoin,” the report states.
Elsewhere, the report sought to apply a critical eye in determining whether bitcoin’s characteristics have benefits for payments. For example, the authors stated that they don’t necessarily believe immutability,