How blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin, could turn traditional banking on its head / Barbara Shecter / August 4, 2015 6:31 PM ET

Banks were supposed to be frightened of Bitcoin. Last year, in a commentary for Fortune called “Why banks fear Bitcoin,” MIT business professor Trond Undheim wrote that “banks are afraid of Bitcoin because it would force them to innovate.”

The mysterious inventor of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, specifically challenged the idea of trusting banks as one of his justifications for creating the currency. “Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve,” he wrote in 2009. “We have to trust them with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves drain our accounts.” In some countries, banks even banned any transactions connected to Bitcoin.