Bitcoin's 'blockchain' technology may transform banking

NEW YORK : The technology that drives the shadowy cryptocurrency bitcoin is drawing interest from the established banking industry, which sees a potential to revolutionize the sector.

A blockchain is essentially a shared, encrypted “ledger” that  be manipulated, offering promise for secure transactions that allow anyone to get an accurate accounting of money, property or other assets.

Although bitcoin and related virtual currencies are limited to a small set of transactions and are often associated with the underground economy, the blockchain technology is gaining currency in the financial world.

“The blockchain, which is the technology behind the encryption and e-certification, that is a technology which might very well be very useful,” Chairman and chief executive of JP Morgan Chase Jamie Dimon said at a conference earlier this year.

Vice president for public affairs at American Express Leah Gerstner said the financial group made its first investment in a digital currency company called Abra “as a way to get a better understanding of blockchain technology and explore its potential.”

Gerstner told AFP “we believe blockchain technology is  an important role.”

The use of blockchain began in 2009 with the introduction of bitcoin and other virtual currencies that are generated by complex chains of interactions among a huge network of computers around the planet, and are not backed by any government or central bank, unlike traditional currencies.


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