ABN AMRO Bank customers may soon have access to a Bitcoin wallet provided by their banking service provider. The Dutch banking major recently ran a survey on its website, to gauge its customers’ interest in Bitcoin.
The survey was part of ABN AMRO Innovation Centre’s initiative to understand whether the Bitcoin community in Netherlands prefers to use a Bitcoin wallet developed by the bank or not. The initiative doesn’t come as a surprise as the bank’s Innovation Centre is known to be working on Bitcoin and blockchain related technologies. With increasing Bitcoin adoption, the bank can gain more customers by offering them a way to store not just fiat currency but also digital currencies like Bitcoin.
According to ABN AMRO’s announcement, the banking major has plans of offering Bitcoin wallets within its secure environment. It will also offer a unified place for ABN AMRO’s Dutch customers to manage all their finances. All transactions to and from ABN’s Bitcoin wallet will happen over its own website and application, which will allow the bank to include Bitcoin transactions into customer’s bank statements.
ABN AMRO’s concept to unify both traditional and Bitcoin economies sound like a good idea. But it may not work for everyone. Individuals who would like to keep their digital currency holdings separate from fiat will continue to use standalone Bitcoin wallet applications. However, businesses offering Bitcoin payment options to their customers may find the service useful.
The Bitcoin wallet is not the only product ABN AMRO is coming up with. The banking major intends to test all the emerging concepts in fintech industry. If found feasible for mainstream usage, the bank’s Innovation Centre will be making it available for customers as well.
The results of the survey are not made public, so we have no way of knowing the response of the Bitcoin community and ABN AMRO customers. However, going by the limited information available at the moment, we can be sure that even if the bank introduces the Bitcoin wallet service, users won’t have access to their private keys, making it a closed system.
Ref: ABN AMRO (archived webpage) | Image: ABNAMRO.com